I agree with you totally!In debate of the ink pen idea.........while sitting at gymnastics class with my youngest daughter, I talk to other mothers and fathers while sitting on those uncomfortable bleacher chairs. Often, I will notice a pen of a unspecific company being used or in someone's pocket. I would ask about that company or ask of whom they would suggest doing the work of............lets say home health care. The pen they are holding says the name--number,etc. and the people can only say--Well, the phone book is full of providers.
If I pass out 1000 pens...about 600+ are to customers...and probably another 200 for passing out to others.
It is all about branding and name recognition.
I totally agree with you that many are not used or whatever...but out of 1000 pens if I can get 2-3+ new customers or upsells, not only am I in the BLACK but I also got some advertising and hopefully had some people appreciate the pen.
I would have to say it works better then postcards as they are in the mail today and in the trash can tomorrow.
Pens are something that is used everyday and get passed around continually!
Do they work well....YES