PPAI Offers Valuable Insight to How Simple Tools Reinforce Powerful Message for Breast Cancer Awareness

Thu Oct 8, 2009 7:00am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Breast Cancer Education, Awareness and Fundraising Take Center Stage as Pink
Ribbons Hit Communities Across the U.S.
IRVING, Texas--(Business Wire)--
Promotional products have long played a vital role in increasing awareness and
support for a variety of cause-related initiatives. From the ubiquitous breast
cancer ribbon to the yellow LIVESTRONG bracelets, promotional products are key
to carrying the message of these causes to the masses, according to Promotional
Products Association International (PPAI). 

This is more evident than ever with the variety of pink products that help mark
the beginning of National Breast Cancer Awareness month each year. For more than
20 years, October has been dedicated to increasing awareness, celebrating
survivors and remembering those who lost their battle with cancer. First
introduced as a grassroots call to action in the 1990s, the program has since
gained traction, visibility and support through the tangible and visible effects
of pink products, which have also been key in funding research. The type of
products supporting this cause range from simple pink ribbons to athletic
apparel and water bottles and have become globally recognized symbols for the
ongoing fight against breast cancer. 

"Promotional items have been extremely important to the breast cancer awareness
push," says Carrie Glasscock, Susan G. Komen senior manager of corporate
relationships. "Not only are they essential for fundraising to find a cure, they
are also key to spreading life-saving messages to audiences we might never reach
without them. With the help of promotional items, it has finally become okay to
talk about breast cancer." 

Further demonstrating the power of promotional products in cause marketing is
the longevity of the practice itself. In 1917, yellow ribbons were first
referenced as part of a military marching song and are still used today to show
support for troops deployed around the world. 

The promotional products industry`s relationship with cause marketing now
stretches far beyond ribbons to many other notable causes. Nonprofits are among
the top ten largest industries to both purchase and use promotional products
according to a 2009 study conducted by PPAI. 

Lance Armstrong`s LIVESTRONG wristbands took the topic beyond those immediately
impacted by cancer, as the bracelets became a popular, fashionable accessory
with everyone from teens to celebrities. Similar results have been seen for red
promotional products used in American Heart Association`s Go Red campaign, as
well as the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, also known as
the (Product) RED Program. Additionally, the NFL unveiled a campaign called "A
Crucial Catch" for the 2009 football season, where all players, coaches and
referees wear pink apparel, such as socks, cleats, wrist bands and hats, during
games throughout the month of October in support of breast cancer awareness. All
apparel worn at the games will be placed on auction where proceeds will benefit
the American Cancer Society. 

"We are very proud to have a long history working with cause marketing clients,"
says Margie Price, MAS, president of Premiums Plus, Inc. a PPAI member since
1990. "We know that these products help support our customers` very important
messages, whether for fundraising or educational awareness, while also allowing
people around the world to show their support for causes close to their hearts."


As the only advertising medium proven to engage all five senses, awareness
ribbons and other promotional products provide a means of educating audiences.
They are also the only medium by which a message can be personalized to reach a
diverse but specific group, while providing a tangible, visual reference for
repeatedly calling to mind a message. A recent PPAI study also revealed that 76
percent of respondents that had received a product within the past 12 months
could recall the name of the brand on the product. 

The use of a branded ribbon has become a key component of virtually every major
cause marketing campaign and can be found in every color of the rainbow,
including puzzle-themed ribbons for autism, grey ribbons for diabetes, gold
ribbons for childhood cancer, and even periwinkle ribbons for pulmonary
hypertension or high blood pressure. Among some of the other most sought after
cause-related promotional products are pens, buttons, wristbands, calendars,
apparel, bags, drinkware and office accessories. 

"Promotional products are an essential element in the marketing mix because they
effectively serve as definitive campaign symbols, educating the public,
fostering hope and often assisting with fundraising efforts," explains Sherri
Lennarson, MAS, PPAI board chair. "Adding a specific message to a product offers
a tangible and lasting marketing experience for the audience and a proven and
reliable means of communicating those messages for different causes around the
world." 

About PPAI

PPAI-the promotional products industry`s only international not-for-profit trade
association-offers education, tradeshows, business products and services,
mentoring, technology and legislative support to its more than 7,500 global
members. Promotional products are an $18.1 billion industry and include
wearables, writing instruments, calendars, drinkware and many other items,
usually imprinted with a company`s name, logo or message. PPAI created and
maintains the UPIC (Universal Promotional Identification Code), the industry`s
only free identification system and universal company database. 

For more information about Promotional Products Association International (PPAI)
or to learn more about the proven power of promotional products (including
research and case studies), visit the PPAI website at www.ppai.org or contact
PPAI at 972-258-3040 or PR@ppai.org.

for Promotional Products Association International
Rupa Patel, 972-488-4790
Rupa@vollmerpr.com

Copyright Business Wire 2009

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