Bobbleheads: A Story of Promotional Products Delivering Measurable ROI
Successful promotional products are all about developing brand affinity—an emotional connection made with a brand through the magic of 3-D advertising. But calculating the ROI of using promotional products compared to other marketing tools or tactics often presents a challenge for brand management. For example, a statement like, "This creative giveaway resulted in this specific sales result," is a calculation all too frequently unavailable.
Enter the mighty Bobblehead, or even better yet, the calculable ROI of the powerful resin figure.
A recent Wall Street Journal article detailed the top 11 MLB bobblehead giveaways, and ROI (calculated as increased attendance) topped out with a startling increase of nearly 50 percent. Of the nearly 3 million bobbleheads that will be given away at stadiums this year, none are more popular than the Ken Griffey Jr. character for the Seattle Mariners. Some 46,000 fans were hoping to get one of the only 20,000 made. Even better—attendance was up over 48 percent for the Saturday giveaway as measured against previous Saturday games.
While other factors (like the opponent) can make a difference, it's clear that giveaways like these bobbleheads, featuring current stars, past stars, announcers, etc., drive fans into the ballpark. The Kansas City Royals, arguably a little short on talent, are certainly not short on creativity. They've even used condiments as bobblehead designs. (For the record, relish beat out ketchup and mustard, with an increase of 17.5 percent in attendance.) And if you think about it, it makes sense. Baseball is, after all, about fun. And promotional products like bobbleheads can help bring the fun.
QCA founding-member BDA is a big player in the bobblehead space. BDA's CEO Jay Deutsch, in a recent interview with Big League Stew, said that bobbleheads have gone way beyond being considered a "trend"—they are big business. In addition to creating bobbleheads for customers in Major League Baseball, BDA counts major brands like Coca-Cola and Target as customers, as well as the NFL.
Jeff is executive director of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). Prior to that, he was responsible for developing safe and compliant brand merchandise for Michelin. He has worked with brands in publishing, consumer products, broadcasting and film for over 30 years. Follow Jeff on Twitter, and QCA on Facebook.