Consumers Want Their Calendars The Traditional Way: In Print


Kim R. Todora


In a two-part study, conducted by PPAI and co-sponsored by the Calendar Advertising Council, over 78 percent of consumers reported
use of a printed calendar in home and workplace setting.

IRVING, Tex., (April 14, 2011) – Promotional Products Association International (PPAI; the not-for-profit association for more than 8,000 members of the $16 billion promotional products industry, has published studies revealing electronic/digital lagging far behind print calendars in consumer preferences both at work and home.

Despite a heavy reliance on computers and cell phones, nearly 80 percent of survey respondents said they prefer printed calendars for scheduling and record-keeping and more than 60 percent said they have at least one advertising calendar in their home or office—a promotional product which accounted for $1.12 billion in revenue in 2009.

Additionally, 82 percent said they enjoyed receiving advertising calendars, which further substantiates the advertising calendars’ place alongside other mainstream promotional items. 

“In an ever-increasing technological age, it’s important to know that the printed calendar—specifically the advertising calendar—is still very relevant, very wanted. Our survey of consumer usage will help professionals in the promotional products industry make sense of this evolving, yet stalwart marketplace by providing hard data on the impact of habits and preferences," said Saritha Kuruvilla, PPAI's research manager.

Home vs. Work
In 1981, the Calendar Advertising Council conducted a study of calendar usage in households and the workplace, demonstrating widespread popularity for the printed piece. Fast forward three decades and PPAI’s new study affirms that the printed calendar is still very much a part of everyday life.

The average number of printed calendars in households today is 3.12 versus 3.98 in 1981. The kitchen remained the prime location with 75 percent of respondents reporting they had a printed calendar there followed by the home office as the second most popular location for 55 percent of respondents. 

The average number of printed calendars per business was 2.10. In 1981, the average was 2.56. Thirty-seven percent of respondents had at least one calendar at work, 63 percent had between two and nine printed calendars at work and one percent had more than 10.
And, despite the wide variety of calendars available in today’s market, the wall calendar still remains the preferred choice as 67 percent of respondents prefer it over others, including computer and cell phone calendars. (Exhibit 1)

The study also found that the advertising calendar is an effective, profitable advertising vehicle. When measuring recall of the advertiser among consumers, more than 70 percent recalled the advertiser and message on their calendars and 70 percent will be doing business with the company again. Forty-eight percent had a more favorable impression of the company and 41 percent reported referring others to the advertiser. (Exhibit 2) And, when looking at return on investment, 37 percent said they looked at a calendar once a day, while 61 percent looked at a calendar between two and more than 10 times per day in the home. And, at work, 24 percent said they looked at a calendar once a day, while 76 percent looked at one between two and more than 10 times a day.

"As with every part of the promotional products industry, the print-calendar market is undergoing exponential change," said Kuruvilla. "Meeting consumers’ changing calendar needs will continue to pay big dividends to those taking the time to understand this ever-changing market."

The Calendar Usage In The Workplace and Calendar Usage In U.S. Households studies were designed and conducted by Saritha Kuruvilla, PPAI’s manager of research and fielded through MarketTools Inc. in San Francisco. The Calendar Advertising Council is a co-sponsor of the study and the council is comprised of companies including Ad-A-Day Co., Inc., Beacon Promotions Inc.; Norwood Promotional Products; Skinner & Kennedy Co.; and Tru Art Advertising Calendars.

The findings from Calendar Usage In The Workplace and Calendar Usage In U.S. Households come from a two-part online survey of consumers, drawn from a nationally representative panel of home and business users, more than 1,000 respondents each. To ensure the survey questions explored the appropriate trends and issues, they were developed in partnership with the Calendar Advertising Council working in the calendar-publishing marketplace.

Survey findings are available upon request as a PDF summary report and as a complete data compendium. For more information, visit

About PPAI
PPAI – the promotional products industry’s only international not-for-profit trade association—offers education, tradeshows, business products and services, mentoring, technology and legislative support to its more than 8,000 global members. Promotional products are a multi-billion dollar industry and include wearables, writing instruments, calendars, drinkware and many other items, usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message. PPAI created and maintains the UPIC (Universal Promotional Identification Code), the industry’s only free identification system and universal company database. For information regarding Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) or to learn more about the proven power of promotional products (including research and case studies), visit the PPAI website at or contact PPAI at 888-426-7724.

Editor’s Note:  Complete studies and graphical exhibits available upon request.

Exhibit 1
Types of complimentary advertising calendars most likely kept and used.

Exhibit 2
Recall of Advertiser’s Name and Product on Advertising Calendars Received




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