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What is Promotional Advertising?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Promotional advertising is one of several advertising tools used to attract interest in a product or service line by offering consumers some additional incentive to make a purchase. Advertising promotion may take on several forms, with the most popular options being offering promotional gifts or promotional giveaways in some fashion. While the process of promotional advertising may mean extra expense on the front end, this approach often helps to establish customer loyalty that keeps the consumer coming back after the advertising campaign is completed.

Promotional giveaways are considered to be an effective approach to promotional advertising. Essentially, giveaway campaigns make it possible for the consumer to receive something for nothing. As an example, the classic “buy one get one free” approach often catches the eyes of consumers who want to get more value for their money. By obtaining two items for the cost of one, consumers are more likely to try products that cost a little more per unit than comparable products. If they find the product is superior in quality to other brands, they are more likely to purchase the product again, even after the promotional campaign is over.

In like manner, promotional gifts are another promotional advertising ploy that provides the consumer with the chance to obtain something without having to pay for it. One application of this approach involves offering some type of attractive good or service when purchasing another product at regular price. For example, if three bottles of barbecue sauce are purchased, the consumer can receive a three pound bag of chicken breasts for free.

This same approach of offering gifts is often used in retail settings to interest consumers in new products. A company that manufactures colognes may offer the consumer a set of sample-sized bottles of newer products along with the purchase of an established fragrance. The manufacturer of a line of golf clubs may offer a package of golf balls when the consumer purchases a new putter. The idea of a free gift for purchasing something that is already desirable appeals to many consumers and will often help to stimulate additional sales.

Another form of promotional advertising involves giving away items with the company logo, slogan, or name on them. These are often free items that are useful in the home or office. Promotional items such as pens, desk calendars, coasters, and even items such as computer bags can be outfitted to keep the name of the company in front of the consumer on a regular basis. This approach helps to increase the chances that the next time the consumer needs a product offered by the company, he or she will call on what is now a familiar company rather than shopping with the competition.

Product advertising is one of the ways that businesses make contact with and retain customers. Promotional advertising helps to support that initial advertising of products by adding another incentive to give the products a try. By appealing to the human desire to take advantage of a bargain, this promotional component of advertising helps to increase the chance for continued success and keep the company in business for many years to come.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By sneakers41 — On Jan 01, 2011

Subway11-I love those gifts. I know that promotional advertising items are also given to promote businesses in general.

When I used to work for a technical staffing firm I always used to give advertising promotional products away so that the company could always remember our business.

I would give away advertising promotional items like stress balls, advertising promotional pens, calendars, mugs, and highlighters.

We really had to have these items on hand so that we could take them on client visits. There are many companies that sell promotional advertising specialty products like this. A few that come to mind are Seastar Agencies and ABC Distributing.

By subway11 — On Dec 29, 2010

I know that when I used to work for Clinique they used to have a marketing promotion advertising event to promote the gift with purchase.

The promotional advertising gift was a series of samples that often included a lipstick, eye liner, a small bottle of Dramatically Different Moisturizing lotion, and a few more samples.

The gifts were given to customers that met the qualifying purchase requirement. In those days it was a $12.50 that would qualify you for the free gift.

The promotional advertising gift was offered twice a year and these were the highest revenue generators for the company.

Periodically many of these cosmetic lines offer a purchase with purchase with a qualifying purchase. Here you are able to buy the promotional gift at a reduced rate while making a qualifying minimum purchase requirement.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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