Prevalence of promo items makes Comic-Con a smash

The draw behind comic book conventions may be lost on some executives, but for those who find the right angle and get space on the floor, these events are a great outlet for promotional item giveaways.

The draw behind comic book conventions may be lost on some executives, but for those who find the right angle and get space on the floor, these events are a great outlet for promotional item giveaways. Attendees are eager to receive promotional tote bags and other interesting products that carry brand information, carrying them home with them as part of their con swag and showing it off to friends.

Due to the variety of items that can relate to comic book and video game culture, many different businesses can incorporate consumer expos like New York Comic-Con and PAX East into their marketing strategy. As some of the most savvy and opinionated consumers, this demographic can help increase the signal a brand is trying to broadcast by giving them promotional items. Conventions like these draw attendees from across the country and sometimes around the world, making them prime locations to get more corporate visibility.

Free totes make free advertising
One of the most popular promotional items of all is the tote bag, and nowhere is that more true than at comic book conventions. People are frequently looking for something interesting to carry their purchases in, and what's more, once they go home, they can show them off to friends and family.

This will increase the likelihood that a person will retain the bag afterward, according to Wired, which wrote that New York Comic Con was rife with free bags, shirts, hats and other goodies that attracted consumers of all ages. Children and adults alike can appreciate these items and enjoy showing them off, the source wrote, making them an invaluable addition to many major corporations' marketing game plans.

Freebies become promo items
One of the best strategies employed by businesses in attendance at New York Comic Con is the art of giving away something that costs them nothing. For instance, a game company can give away free downloads of a special in-game item by handing out codes on branded cards, or offer free trials of specific software, according to Comic Book Resources Online.

In that respect, any company can find ways of implementing this strategy by giving away part of a service that consumers must otherwise pay to receive. Giving them a short trial entices them to purchase a full version, buy a similar product in the future or at least visit a website or store for more information. Increasing click-throughs and foot traffic can easily translate into more revenue if a business follows up the promo item strategy with additional marketing tools.

Some entities like Mountain Dew have found ways of partnering with other companies to increase their ability to implement this plan. Forbes wrote that the beverage carries codes for Halo 4, a popular video game among drinkers of the soda, that gives them free in-game downloads. This serves as dual advertising for both entities, increasing visibility and encouraging consumers to spend more money on both products. In return, people will receive a Halo item that can be used in the context of the game, but this is a pure-profit marketing strategy for both companies.

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