In honor of Promotional Products Work! Week, we thought we would throw it back to the beginning for you folks!
Do you know how promotional items started? We will give you a hint, our country’s first president used them in his
campaign. Buttons! President George Washington used buttons to promote his presidential campaign back in 1789. Which makes promotional products almost as old as our own country!
After the obvious success of the use of buttons in the president’s campaign, people quickly realized that they could use other items as well, such as almanacs, calendars, and wooden items to promote themselves and businesses. The next popular source that we know used promotional products was Mr. Jasper Meek. He was a small town newspaper printer that printed local businesses on burlap bags for added exposure for those businesses. He was considered the “father” of promotional products.
At this point, promotional items really started to take the country by storm, so much so that in 1904, 12 promotional product manufacturers came together and decided they needed to form an industry trade association to address issues like pricing, new ideas, and operating procedures. In the beginning, this organization was called the Advertising Manufacturers Association. Now people mostly know it as the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). The industry did take a hit during the depression but came back stronger than ever with a recorded $124 million in sales in the late 1940’s.
Then in the 1950’s, another organization came to the forefront. Advertising Specialty Institute, also known as ASI, entered the playing field to play in this lucrative industry. Today, both organizations are prominent leaders in the promotional marketing world. On top of producing quality magazines that keep you up to date on the latest and greatest, these organization’s host tradeshows to show items that can help support your business.
Promotional items have come a long way since George Washington! We would love to hear about some of your favorite items that you have either used as a business owner or received from a business. Of course, don’t forget that Andrade Promotions is here for you and your business. If you want to learn how promotional items can work for your business, send us an email to receive a free consultation!
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