Why Do Pens Still Promote So Well?

  • Jun 14, 2021

About 50,000 to 60,000 years B.C., the stone hand axe would have been the first tool to be used by humans in attempting to scratch patterns into stone. Many such scrapers and gravers/burins have been found in caves in Southern France and Spain. Writing instruments, it seems, didn’t really get their start until growing demand for written records lead to the desire for more practical writing instruments. It was then that the invention of ink and the use of papyrus as a writing surface represented a great leap forward.)

The quill and fountain pen were the first in use, but competition to the fountain pen arrived in the 1930’s with the invention of the ballpoint pen. Because the ball point had the advantage of being able to write for a very long time without constantly needing refilling—coupled with the fact that it was leak-proof and that its ink-paste dried quickly once applied to paper—ball point pens soon became the preferred writing instrument worldwide. In our era, the ballpoint pen was followed by the ink roller, which is structurally similar to the ballpoint pen but uses liquid ink rather than viscous ink-paste and thus allows for a smooth and flowing writing action. And there’s so much more history about pens to reveal but that’s enough for now.

Let’s take a tour as to why writing instruments soar in popularity when used as promotional products. First, just about everyone owns a writing instrument. There are few categories in the promotional world that eclipse pens in terms of ownership. A couple are t-shirts and drinkware. But let’s get to the reasons pens work so well to promote your brands.

One might think that with the advent of the computer that pens would diminish in their popularity, but that’s just not the case. Pen use is up dramatically, because pens have taken on a multi-personality. Pens can contain a message, a flashlight, screwdriver, knife, and more. Frequently they do! And many pens have been designed to work with computers or smartphones by adding in a soft rubber tip or stylus that allows people to use the stylus to make selections on those electronic devices.

Branded pens can cost from less than $.50 to $50 or more for some executive gifts. Hotels use billions of pens to brand their company, and millions of those pens travel home with people after their stay at a hotel. Banks, insurance companies, auto-dealers—almost anyone that has contact with the public uses pens to promote their business. People keep them around for a long time, many until they run out of ink.

So cost, longevity in use, great branding opportunities, and actually serving a purpose are great reasons why pens of all types are really great promotional products. Let’s also discuss the future of writing instruments…where is pen technology headed?

There are pens that can write in any position and those have gone to the moon. That might be considered old technology, but today there are pens that can write in 3-D, pumping out words or shapes. More and more features are being added every year to pens and there are some very creative adaptations…look for almost any combination you can imagine. There are even pens that have ten colors and spinner tops. Ask us for an unusual pen and you’ll probably get ten variations that will surprise you with their creativity.

ball-point pens

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