The Tchotchke Is Alive And Well…And Thriving — Point/Counterpoint

Whether an appeal to a federal agency or a lighthearted blog banter, the facts are on our side and we have an obligation to present them.
 
Recently I had the opportunity to respond to a lighthearted blog post by Todd Wilms, SAP’s Head of Social Business Strategy, on The Sad Death of the Beloved Tchotchke. Although humorous in nature, I take this type of commentary seriously. On behalf of our “beloved tchotchke,” this was my rebuttal as published in today’s Forbes.com SAPVoice blog post.
 
I would like to thank Todd Wilms and SAP for the opportunity to share our voice.
 
 

Please allow me to present a somewhat different view of promotional products—perhaps one never considered—in support of the ‘beloved tchotchke,’ a.k.a. promotional product.

An imprinted t-shirt raises more than $7,000 for a teenager battling the cancer and unites a community around hope. On a winter day in New York, imprinted blankets distributed to the homeless transform into a message of hope, caring and community. A key chain with a whistle handed out to students at a self-defense class becomes an empowering tool. A t-shirt given to children at a summer outdoor program is a memorable, functional keepsake. When the shirt is decorated with the phone number to call if the child is lost, the imprinted shirt becomes a prudent safety precaution.

An imprinted t-shirt, blanket, a functional key chain—they help save lives. They create community. They stir hope and purpose. They have an undeniable, beneficial impact on our world.

The items you perceive as obsolete are anything but. The truth is this form of advertising is stronger than ever. In fact, some of the salient points raised in your post are exactly why promotional products are one of the most effective, cost-efficient and longest-lasting media used by advertisers, marketers, social media aficionados and SAP. Compared to other media, promotional products are the sixth fastest-growing advertising medium, ranking eighth among traditional and digital media in annual expenditures at $18.5 billion.

To savvy advertisers and marketers, promotional products are the secret weapon in the marketing arsenal because they are the only tangible advertising medium with the ability to deliver a touchable, tasteable, seeable, hearable and smell-able sensory engagement—the total brand experience. More importantly, promotional products are the only advertising for which consumers say, “Thank you!”

The message is pretty clear, when used as part of an integrated advertising strategy or as a standalone medium, promotional products deliver some pretty impressive results.

We couldn't agree more with the message on the SAP merchandise site, "All products function, design or benefit are linked to how we want to be perceived as a company. This shop provides products that convey the strength of the SAP brand, that will inspire and enhance a true sense of belonging. Enjoy!"

Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI President & CEO
“We couldn’t agree more with the message on the SAP merchandise site, ‘All products function, design or benefit are linked to how we want to be perceived as a company. This shop provides products that convey the strength of the SAP brand, that will inspire and enhance a true sense of belonging. Enjoy!'”

When professionally designed and produced, and used as part of strategic plan, promotional products generate interest, action, sales, referrals and loyalty—in short results. These results distinguish them as one of the most effective and arguably the longest-lasting and best-loved advertising media in the world.

Read today’s Forbes post here.

Read the original piece on Forbes here.

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