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This year’s PPW was the most engaging yet, spreading the message more broadly than ever and galvanising BPMA members.

The promotional products sector came together for the fourth annual Promotional Products Week (PPW) from 2-6 October.

The annual event serves as a rallying point for the merchandise sector to extol the virtues of merchandise as an advertising medium, and to celebrate the best in merchandise.

This year’s PPW went under the theme of ‘Thank You’ and was designed to show the great use that products can be put to when it comes to showing appreciation, whether that is to clients, customers, or staff.

Research by the BPMA discovered that almost 80% of people receiving a branded gift felt ‘appreciated’, making merchandise the most powerful advertising medium for saying thank you.

In light of this finding, the sector was encouraged to say their own thank yous to the individuals, groups, and companies that they were most grateful towards. They were encouraged to download special branded thank you signs and use them to deliver their message of gratitude by uploading pictures to social media and to the PPW website – –using the handle #ThankYouPPW.

This year also raised funds for the Alzheimer’s Society through a range of activities by BPMA members. The BPMA ask edits members, promotional buyers, and anybody who wanted to support PPW to upload their videos or photos showing a branded product, tagged with #ThankYouPPW, and to donate to the Alzheimer’s Society.

BPMA members arranged and ran their own campaigns and events on the back of the Thank You campaign. The BPMA held its own unique event at the Conrad Hotel in London on 4 October. The Night of Luxury Brands aimed to inspire buyers with a range of high-end merchandise options to incentivise and reward in style.

Outstanding Branding held its TOPS show during PPW. The event started with The Outstanding Supplier Supper on the evening of 3 October, before the main event which was held at the Tower of London. The day featured more than 30 of the UK’s top merchandise vendors, thousands of products on display, private tours, food, and lots of free gifts. Speakers included the BPMA’s Gordon Glenister, Chris Pitt of Vertical Leap, and Alison Esse of The Storytellers.

Social engagement

With this year’s focus on social media, it was heartening to see how much traffic had increased compared with 2016. The PPW account quadrupled its average impressions to 6,100 per day during the week, compared to PPW 2016 which had an average of 1,500 impressions per day. In total, there were more than 30,000 impressions for PPW 2017, compared with under 8,000 last year. The account also gained 67 followers.

The BPMA’s Twitter engagement was also boosted, reaching a peak of more than 19,500 impressions per day compared to the usual average of about 3,000. There were more than 82,000 impressions throughout the week, with the top tweet gaining 1,756 impressions and 34 engagements.

In total, there were 113,000 Twitter impressions during PPW and 1,603 mentions of the #ThankYouPPW hashtag. Instagram followers increased by 51%. Media exposure also extended to other magazines with PPW featured in eight online magazines, including Promo Marketing, Printwear & Promotions, Incentive & Motivation, and Gift Focus magazine.

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