Pinback buttons were one of the earliest forms of promotional material. In 1978 Gorge Washington supporters wore metal buttons that stated: Long live the president. The first pins that included pictures started in 1861 when Abe Lincoln was running for president.
On the front of the button was a ferrotype of Lincoln. The first massed produced campaign buttons happened in 1896. The materials needed to make a button were inexpensive. The production of buttons was easier and faster than before. Many people remember campaign buttons because of their catchy slogans. A good example of this is the ” I Like Ike” button for the Dwight Eisenhower campaign.
Pinback buttons are not only for political campaigns. Companies have also benefited from using buttons. Stores gave buttons to help promote certain items. In 1898 famous children’s characters appeared on buttons. These button prizes helped increase the sale of bubblegum and tobacco. In 1945 Kellogg’s put buttons as prizes in boxes of Pep cereal. The pins featured newspaper comic characters and U.S army squadrons. There were 90 in all that people could collect. Pep cereal is one example of marketing buttons as collectibles.
Benjamin S Whitehead made the first innovation in pinback design. He created a sheet of transparent film over the picture on the button in 1893. The sheet protected the button from scratches and weathering. The sheet helped preserve and make the button last even longer.
Pinback buttons are still a good marketing tool today. Buttons can look however a company wants them to look. They can include a picture, a catchy slogan, or even the company’s website. Buttons are a cheap product that a company can hand out at an event or a trade show. Buttons make great gifts for a company to send out or use as a prize for a raffle. A bonus for using a button as a prize is that they can make the button seem exclusive.
Buttons also make good advertising. Many people wear buttons on their backpacks, purses, shirts, or hats. Wherever the person is that is wearing the button your logo is too. People love to read buttons especially if they include a catchy phrase or a good picture. The buttons get the company in the eyes of more people than they would be without the button.
Pinback buttons also make good gifts for birthdays, an anniversary, or a special event. It is for the same reason that some people collect buttons. A button can be like a mini time capsule. A person can look at a pin and remember what was happening and how they felt when they received it. People can look back at pins from a certain area and get a feel for what that time was like.
Pinback pins throughout history have been a great promotional tool. They are customizable and cheap to make. They help the person who received the pin remember the company. The people wearing and sharing the pin helps spread the companies name farther than before.