The Best Promotional Items to Give Away in 2022, According to New Research

The best promotional items to give away should have low cost per impressions (CPI) and should be effective at achieving your campaign goals – whether that is drumming up new business or securing customer loyalty. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute’s (ASI) 2022 Ad Impressions Study, the types of promotional products that are most likely to influence U.S. consumers to do business with an advertiser are apparel, accessories, and health & safety products including custom face masks and hand sanitizer.

Across all demographics, these promotional items are overall the most influential or effective in the United States:

5. Polo Shirts

Logoed polo shirts aren’t just for trade shows anymore. Consumers are happy to sport polo shirts featuring your company logo. Perhaps that’s because polo shirts are a comfortable wardrobe staple, providing a business casual look that golfers, office workers, and retirees alike can appreciate. Southerners – and residents of Delaware – are especially fond of polo shirts, according to research from ASI. Men are more likely than women to want to do business with a company who gave them a free polo shirt.

Custom polo shirts also earned a spot on our most popular promotional items list for 2021.


4. Health & Safety

best promotional items to give away - influence

Health & safety promotional items are a powerful way to display your company’s concern & care for the wellbeing of your customers. They are especially effective promotional items for businesses in the healthcare and construction industries.

It’s no surprise that health & safety promotional products are so highly appreciated by North American consumers right now. Americans are increasingly turning to health & wellness products and services to boost their immunity and manage pandemic-related stress. According to ASI’s research, health & safety promotional items are most influential in the Northeast region of the U.S. Women were more likely than men to list health & safety promotional items as influential.

Best selling promotional items in the health & safety category include hand sanitizer, no touch door opener tools and custom roadside emergency and first aid kits.


3. Face Masks

Custom face masks were popular with businesses and consumers alike in 2020 and 2021. According to data included in ASI’s most recent State of the Industry report, businesses purchased PPE face coverings more frequently than any other type of promotional item in 2021, except for t-shirts.

According to ASI’s most recent market research, consumers in the 55-65+ age group were most likely to indicate that a promotional face mask could influence them to do business with a company. Consumers aged 18-44 did not select masks as a top 5 most influential promotional item. Face masks were listed as the #1 most influential promotional item in Hawaii and Idaho. They are also popular in South Carolina and Wisconsin.

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations fall in the U.S., custom face masks could fall out of favor with consumers – at least temporarily. A significant percentage of the U.S. population still occasionally or regularly wears face masks in crowded indoor spaces or on airplanes or public transit. Many consumers – especially urbanites – will likely adopt the East Asian cultural practice of wearing face masks in public spaces during the winter, especially when recovering from an illness or if their community experiences an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

For companies in the healthcare industry, high-quality face masks will continue to be an effective promotional item to give away to health-conscious consumers during the winter months.


2. Performance Wear

Outdoor recreation activities like golfing and hiking surged in popularity during the pandemic. Naturally, the outdoor industry saw impressive growth during this period as well. Outdoor sports equipment, apparel, and accessories including electric bikes, performance wear, and hiking shoes became highly sought after by consumers.

Performance wear, also known as technical sportswear, features construction and fabrics that are ideal for outdoor activities in various weather conditions. UV protection clothing and moisture-wicking shirts are especially in-demand right now, as these items are ideal for popular outdoor activities like hiking, camping, golfing, and fishing.

ASI’s new survey of American consumers also found that performance wear is the #1 most influential promotional product category among consumers aged 25-34. Performance wear is particularly influential in Texas and other states in the Southwest region of the U.S.


1. Outerwear

As we predicated last year, promotional outerwear is having a moment.

Across gender and most age groups, outerwear is the best promotional item for influencing consumers to conduct business with your company. The only exception is the 25-34 age group where outerwear took the number #2 spot.

Promotional outerwear  –  including rain jackets, winter coats, unisex bomber jackets, and trendy shirt jackets – is one of the best promotional items to give away especially in the Northeast region of the U.S. Promotional outerwear is an attractive, useful, and valuable giveaway or gift that can help small businesses and corporations alike build brand recall and boost brand loyalty. Promotional outerwear items like company branded jackets are kept by consumers for 16 or longer months on average and offer low cost per impressions.

Promotional Items that Work: Additional Ideas for the Best Promotional Giveaways

Looking to leave a lasting impression? These are some of our favorite promotional items for building brand awareness and brand image.

Bundles of Promotional Products – aka swag boxes or swag packs – are becoming increasingly popular with companies seeking to impress social media influencers, virtual and hybrid event attendees, VIP clients and sales prospects, and high-value job candidates and new hires.

Unique Promotional Items  – for companies seeking to stand out in a crowd, some of the most creative promotional items to give away in 2022 include smart glass sunglasses and pop-up beach tents for summer or custom mini desktop vacuums and white noise machines for the office.

For one-on-one assistance with selecting the best promotional items to give away in 2022, Contact Metron Branding by filling out the form below today: