Today is Election Day. And if you’re sitting there reading and thinking, “Oh no, I hope she doesn’t go into a rant about the responsibility of voting,” you don’t have to worry. This isn’t a blog to lecture about the importance of exercising your right, but rather to look back on famous political campaigns and the use of promotional products.
It’s impossible to talk about Election Day without discussing how just a year ago, Barack Obama made history as the world watched with captive eyes. And let’s not forget the “hanging chad” incident of 2000, were many Floridian’s votes were not counted because the hole did not detach completely from the ballot. While these stories recount historic Election Day media frenzy, they do not take into account the months of campaigning and the strategy behind it.
The first documented political campaign in the United States occurred in 1789, when George Washington ran for reelection. Washington used commemorative buttons to gain momentum for his campaign, effectively creating the first promotional products. And, from lapel pins to bumper stickers, promotional products have been an important part of politics ever since. In fact, bumper stickers are some of the most effective marketing tools because they travel everywhere a recipient goes, and they last long after the election is over.
You don’t have to be running for office to effectively utilize lapel pins and bumper stickers as part of your marketing campaign. These cost-effective items are ideal as mass giveaways, and can be easily customized with a company name and logo to provide increased brand exposure.
In addition to being fun and functional, the staying power of promotional products provides an advantage over traditional advertising and mass media. No one can deny that mass media has played a determining role in elections ever since the first televised debates between Robert Nixon and John F. Kennedy Jr. and that the use of social media has become widespread on the campaign trail in recent elections. But while social media is a great way for politicians and businesses to generate buzz, ultimately it is the promotional products that become integrated into everyday life and last long after the TV is turned off and the computer shut down.
Social media that generated buzz last year:
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