Keep Calm and Write On
"It costs an advertiser less than one-tenth of a penny per advertising impression to have their logo seen," added Arruda. "On top of that, pens are used by everyone and have applications for most any promotional program."
A Little Goes a Long Way
Pens and other writing instruments don't have a lot of room for decoration, but that doesn't mean they won't get the job done. "Small subliminal ads get the message across," Brey said. "Recipients can remember who they got their pen from. They will search out a particular pen if they like the product."
She also pointed out how often writing instruments are needed. "Pens are great because people use them all day long, every day. Every time a recipient reaches for the pen or digs through their bag or purse to find it, they will recall the advertiser. It is used frequently, so it drives home the advertiser's name in the recipient's head."
Arruda explained that since there is less space on a pen, it's important not to overdo it with content. "Many times, less is more," he said. "A bold, clean imprint will get the consumer's attention."
Deciding which information to put on the pen and which to leave off varies case by case. "It is also important to determine the goal of the program," Arruda said. "It may be a re-branding, in which case the new logo needs to be large and bold. Other times, it may be a new toll-free hotline where the phone number and purpose of the hotline needs to pop. If you try to put too much info [on the pen], it may look too busy."