How Promotional Inflatables Persuade Consumers

Can you recall a time when you saw a cool promotional display inside a retail store? Maybe you’ve seen a Super Bowl POP display inside a grocery store, featuring a hanging inflatable football display enhancer which reminds you to buy beer before the big game. You might not recall all the details of the last in-store display enhancer you saw, but when you saw it, it tinkered with your desires. Either consciously or subconsciously, it had an effect on your behavior in that store. That’s the name of the game when it comes to inflatable display enhancers. They’re meant to influence consumers to make a purchase even when they weren’t planning on it. The physical, real nature of a typical custom inflatable plays a key role in that.

Not All Inflatables are Created Equal

Made right, promotional inflatables look very realistic because of their 3D nature and vibrantly printed details. Generally, they evoke a more powerful response because of this realism.

A study by the US Postal Service and Temple University found that physical advertising (i.e. inflatables), is more effective than non-dimensional advertising. The specific objectives for which physical promotional objects perform better are review time, stimulation, memory, desirability and valuation. That means physical promotional objects like inflatables, stimulated a stronger emotional reaction, generated a stronger desire for the product, and influenced an interaction with the product by the consumer. 

Further, encounters with physical promotional objects are welcomed after staring at computer and phone screens all day, as many of us do. “Banner blindness” is real. That is, people don’t pay as much attention to screens and banners. Advertisers frequently turn to in-store advertising “IRL” (i.e. in real life) to make up for poor online sales performance or to pick up where online ads leave off.

Brand Managers Use In-Store Props to Draw Attention

Miller Zell, a retail solutions company, studiedthe impact of in-store vs. out-of-store advertising back in 2009. They found that even though the majority of shoppers make shopping lists, 60% of them make brand decisions afterthey enter the store. Other sourcescite rates as high as 82%. In other words, most shoppers don’t decide on a specific product, or even a brand, before they enter a store. That’s a good reason to remind them about yourbrand with in-store advertising.

The same studyrevealed that, across all age, income, gender and channels evaluated, in-store advertising was considered more effective than out-of-store advertising in raising product awareness and communicating product benefits. 

To recap, most shoppers don’t know what brand they want before entering the store, but most of them are more easily persuaded in-store compared to outside of the store. The study follows with in-store advertising being a key sales driver and that staying competitive at the point of purchase is difficult without it.

What about the rest of the shoppers, those who went shopping for a product your company or client doesn’t even sell? They’re not irrelevant. To the contrary, they’re in the game because 62% of them will make impulse buys while shopping, according to Spectrio. Of those impulse buys, 16% are driven by in-store advertising.

Choose Your In-Store Advertising Wisely

There are endless possibilities for advertisements placed in stores. Some are extremely creative. Others are nothing unusual but, nevertheless, they generate impulse buys and improve sales metrics for brands.

Besides a laser light show in the middle of a store, few marketing tactics are as cost effective as custom inflatables when it comes to grabbing attention and making an emotional impact. For example, what better way to boost sales of a soft-drink brand than by branding an eye-catching custom basketball-related inflatable and hanging it above an in-store display leading up to March Madness or the NBA Finals?


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