Raising awareness about diseases – to educate those at risk and raise funds to fight them – is one of the most rewarding parts of working in the promotional products industry. Over the past few years we’ve seen a number of big trends in the industry, from a focus on breast cancer awareness products to the silicone bracelets popularized by Lance Armstrong. Currently (PRODUCT) RED, dedicated to providing anti-retroviral drugs to AIDS sufferers in the developing world, is probably the highest-visibility awareness program. Along the way we’ve seen plenty of hits, a few misses (the Christopher Reeve foundation dog tags didn’t really take off).
We’ve also able to see trends as measured in sales. Predictions for 2008? Breast cancer awareness products have already peaked. In fact, they probably peaked in 2006. Likewise for silicone bracelets. This year awareness promotion will depend on a new breakout product as well as a new cause that really captures a broad audience.