Costly mass media advertising rates are determined by the number of viewers, listeners, or subscribers that could potentially see or hear the advertisement. In the case of billboard advertising, the rate is determined by the traffic count on the highway on which the billboard is located. 

In specialty advertising, pricing is not determined by the number of impressions a product receives. Pricing is determined by the cost of the product and the number of products an advertiser purchases. Thus, an imprinted tee shirt that is worn by a participant in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is seen by over 100,000 people lining the streets of New York and millions of viewers watching the parade on television. But, the tee shirt still costs the advertiser about fifteen dollars. Had that advertiser purchased a commercial on the Thanksgiving Day Parade telecast, it would have cost tens of thousands of dollars compared to just the cost of a $15 tee shirt.

In the promotional products industry, pens have the lowest cost per impression of all specialty advertising products. According to the 2014 Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study conducted by ASI, the cost of pen impression is 1/10 of a cent. That’s based on 2800 impressions over the pen’s typical life of six months. That means a pen’s number of impressions per month is around 467.

Let’s assume that a distributor sells one Garland writing instrument for ten dollars. For the sake of my limited math skills, let’s say the Garland pen lasts only 10 years or 120 months; despite its lifetime guarantee. 

In this scenario, a Garland writing instrument would create 56,040 impressions over ten years (467 impressions per month x 120 months). The cost per impression ($10 = 56,040 impressions) would be 2/100 of a cent or about 5 times cheaper than a flimsy, imported, throw-away pen. 

Conclusion: (1) Advertising specialties are one of the most high-impact, cost-effective advertising mediums available; (2) pens have the lowest cost per impression of all advertising specialties; and, (3) over their lifetime, Garland writing instruments are five times less expensive than poor quality pens.