3 Minute Read

Consumer Insights for July 2019: The Most Popular Promo Items

More than 2/3rds of brand marketers expect to spend more on experiential marketing in the next year. Student ambassador and other brand ambassador marketing is expected to grow to a new high by year’s end. And whether it’s in-store retail or ecommerce, retail promotions remain an important element for many brands. But costs for experiential activations, ambassador programs, and retail promotions continue to rise too. One of the line-items within those budgets that can be leveraged effectively, while also controlling costs, is promotional items.


To ensure that money is being spent wisely on promo items, we regularly survey teens and college age consumers about their favorite brand giveaways. With the help of our promotional products agency, Monitor, we analyzed the findings from our survey to ensure that these items could be sourced and produced in a cost-effective manner. (For info on some recommended cost-saving methods, please read Monitor’s July 2019 post [3-minute read] entitled “The Most Underutilized Step to Save Money on Promo Items.”)


The three favorite categories of promo items for teens and young adults are the following:


Bags remain one of the best-selling items according to promo items trade association Advertising Specialty Institute. Here are how the 3 most popular promo bags rank among teens and young adults:

  • Backpack 79% 79%
  • Canvas Messenger Bag 14% 14%
  • Duffel Bag 6% 6%

Eco-friendly / Sustainable Products

Teen and young adult consumers demand sustainable practices from the brands they are loyal to. Here are how the 3 most popular types of sustainable promo items rank among teens and young adults:

  • Reusable Water Bottle 49% 49%
  • Solar Powered Phone Charger 27% 27%
  • Metal Straw 24% 24%


Apparel is the most popular category of promo items and for teen and young adult consumers that means T-shirts. Here are how the 3 most popular types of T-shirts rank among teens and young adults:

  • Standard T 50% 50%
  • V-Neck T 30% 30%
  • Pocket T 20% 20%

Please contact us for more information about this survey or Gen Z. Contact Monitor for questions about promo products.