The British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) hosted its third Promotional Products Week earlier this month, launching it with the release of new research into UK marketers’ attitudes toward branded merchandise. BPMA’s data shows that the pen still prevails as the promotional item of choice with 91 percent of respondents saying it tops their list. The survey also suggests that buyers want quality gifts that are useful, relevant and memorable.

This year’s theme for Promotional Products Week was “Promotional Products Invoke Action.” BPMA encouraged industry companies to share photos of branded merchandise in use, many of which were displayed on the BPMA Pinterest and Facebook pages. Hundreds of #PromoThePanda stuffed toys supplied by Ravensden were distributed as part of the week, with “Promo” appearing in all sorts of locations and photos on social media.

During the week, BPMA promoted the importance of buying from a BPMA member and why promotional merchandise should be used as a key part of companies’ marketing mix. Mailing pieces and emails were sent to thousands of marketers and buyers, and personalised Cross pens and phone chargers were sent to a number of media personalities. The BPMA team also took to the streets of London in support of the campaign, lobbying big businesses, marketers and the general public at a variety of locations across the city.

BPMA members’ support for Promotional Products Week included:

  • The Sourcing Team invited customers to a showcase event featuring a range of suppliers’ merchandise, raising nearly £1,000 for charity.
  • Liverpool-based Wildthang ran user competitions and an email campaign to share industry research. It was also involved in a Free Liverpool fundraising concert generating £2,000 for charity.
  • Distributor Outstanding Branding charmed morning commuters at London Bridge station with offers of branded love hearts while raising money for charity. The company’s staff wore branded clothing with company mascot Clara the Cow.
  • Allwag Promotions of Chelmsford released 2,000 branded balloons as part of a charity balloon race for the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. As part of its participation, the company offered attendees a chance to win a free balloon ride.

Promotional Products Week culminated in a celebration of BPMA’s 50th birthday. The Association invited more than 100 guests on an evening champagne reception and cruise on the Thames River.

BPMA Director General Gordon Glenister said, “We have put a lot of effort into raising the profile of the promotional products industry throughout the week, and I am pleased to see so many of our members getting behind this important initiative.”