In May, the PPAI Board of Directors approved the Association’s Industry Branding Initiative, a five-year plan to position promotional products as a top-of-mind and preferred advertising and marketing tool among professionals responsible for branding, advertising, media planning and media buying. In one of the first concrete steps of the plan, PPAI has selected Saxum as its agency of record for the initiative.

PPAI developed the branding initiative aided by research on buyer purchasing habits and preferences, and in collaboration with industry leaders, PPAI’s Public Relations Advisory Group and the Chairman’s Roundtable Work Group. Oklahoma City-based Saxum will work with PPAI to implement an integrated communications plan including strategic brand positioning, media relations, integrated creative content and a paid media campaign launching the promotional products industry’s first cohesive awareness and branding initiative.

“PPAI chose Saxum because of its unique approach to integrated communications, which we are confident will complement and enhance our ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the industry among promotional products buyers and the media,” says Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO. “As we continue to work toward bringing the industry together under one mission, one purpose, and one voice, partnering with Saxum will help us meet the challenges of the market and create a powerful voice for the industry.

“Our industry represents one of the oldest forms of branding and advertising; we are sixth among traditional and digital advertising expenditures, and we are the eighth-fastest-growing medium, but many marketers and advertising agencies have yet to take full advantage of promotional products,” adds Bellantone. “PPAI and Saxum will work together to drive key messaging and elevate the fact that promotional products deliver the highest rate of reach, recall and response among major forms of advertising.”

Along with national and trade media outreach, Saxum will work with PPAI and the promotional products industry to develop the industry’s first multimedia evidence-based promotional products case study campaign library as a resource to media and buyers.

“As an integrated marketing communications firm, we understand the importance of identifying and maximizing all of the marketing tools that make up a balanced campaign, and that includes promotional products,” says C. Renzi Stone, founder and CEO of Saxum. “We’re excited about working with PPAI to expand understanding of how and why promotional products should be critical and strategic components of every organization’s marketing strategy, right from the start.”