What promotional products are hot in Canada?

Although it’s been quite a snowless winter here in Chicago, we’ve had a lot of bone chilling days lately. I know a lot of my friends in Canada are feeling the winter chill even more, so I think it’s a perfect time to talk about what’s hot in promotional products in Canada.
What promotional products are hot in Canada?
One of the reasons I’ve continued to be a member of the Advertising Specialty Institute is that they provide some terrific survey data that helps me know what’s trending in the industry. The 2012 Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study offered some interesting insight into what’s popular now. They didn’t ask distributors (like me); they asked consumers in “man on the street” type interviews, asking what promos they have received (and, more importantly, remembered and kept). In Canada, they surveyed folks in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

Ready for the highlights?

  • Pens. Forty-eight per cent of Canadians own promotional pens. This in on par with other countries such as the United States at 50 per cent and France at 46 per cent. Only Great Britain had more (56 per cent). This in the age of e-gadgets? With worldwide promo pen use still being quite high, I think it will take at least another generation or two to see this figure drop more dramatically. But with pens and writing instruments requiring no power or batteries, they still will be a functional choice going forward for conferences and meetings.
  • Calendars. Thirty-seven per cent of Montreal residents surveyed said they have at least one logo’d calendar, the highest percentage in the entire study. Hmm…
  • Hats. Maybe it’s because it’s cold up north. But 21 per cent of all Canadians own a promotional hat (compared to 16 per cent in the United States) and 25 per cent of those surveyed in Toronto own one (highest in the world). So while hats are an iffy choice these days, especially for corporate meetings, they are more likely to be appreciated at Canadian events.
  • Health and safety items. Montreal wins again with 11 per cent owning promotional health and safety items.
  • High use of promotional items in Vancouver and Toronto. Only Los Angeles had a higher rate of promotional product use than that of Vancouver (in second place) and Toronto (in third place) worldwide. Ironically, Montreal had the study’s lowest use of promo items, but, apparently, as noted earlier, the ones they keep are calendars and health and safety items. Go figure.
  • Strong promotional use nationwide. Canadians have the second highest use of promotional products worldwide, bested only by the United States by a less than one per cent difference.

What can we conclude from this? Canadians are very receptive to receiving promotional products and have a high likelihood of retaining them, giving your organization and your events greater exposure over the long haul. So definitely add them to your meetings and events marketing mix.

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