Smart Ads: Bringing Print Advertising to a Different Level

A very warm welcome to our guest blogger Earl, an inspiring marketing entrepreneur, who has written a very interesting piece for Limelight Design on Print Advertising…..

Since we started trading with each other, we also began advertising. History tells us that way back in the early 1400s, soon after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, people went about using print as a marketing medium. Merchants then had a groundbreaking opportunity to distribute multiple copies of advertisements for their goods. During the late 19th and 20th centuries, print advertising inevitably became the predominant means of market communication of companies. Communication with consumers through flyers, posters, newspapers, magazines, billboards and other prints became widespread. In the years that followed, we saw how print advertising transformed according to the various social changes and technological advancements that occurred along the way.

Let’s take a look at some today’s smart and interactive ads and how they bring print advertising to a different level.



Caribou Coffee Bus Shelters

In 2011 Colle+McVoy, an advertising agency based in Minneapolis introduced to Minnesotans Caribou Coffee’s breakfast sandwiches. They raised the bar in print advertising by turning bus shelters into something akin to ovens. Come wintertime, pedestrians and bus riders got to experience actual heat from the coils placed in the shed, which was covered by large prints of the breakfast sandwiches getting warm in an oven. Thanks to this innovative advertising, the Minnesotans’ craving for warmth was delightfully replaced by cravings for Caribou Coffee’s newest special.



McCain Ready Baked Jackets – Bus Stop Campaign

Similar to the Caribou Coffee campaign, McCain, a Canadian multinational company, launched a potato-scented bus stop campaign in early 2012. Aiming to entice people to get a taste of the McCain Ready Made Jackets, ad agency Beattie McGuinness Bungay came up with an inventive press and sniff ad. The company fitted 3D fiberglass jacket potatoes on the six-sheets of bus stops around the UK. By just pressing a button, people waiting at the bus stop will smell the aroma of an irresistible baked jacket potato, and they will feel the familiar heat emanating from one’s oven at home. In addition to the experience, the six-sheets were also made to dispense discount coupons to encourage people to get a taste of the goodness that is baked potato.



Peugeot Interactive Airbag Print Ad

Also in 2011, Peugeot teamed up with Loducca, a Sao Paulo-based advertising agency, to deliver an interactive print ad for their 408 series. With a spread in 50,000 copies of Exame, Brazil’s prominent business magazine, Peugeot creatively advertised the special safety feature of their 408 model. Printed on the spread was a picture of the car’s dashboard and words inviting people to punch the steering wheel as hard as they can to find out why the new model provides a lot more safety than the older counterpart. If people followed what was written on the sheet, a mini airbag would inflate, much like in real cars upon collision. Once the airbags are inflated, a double page ad is opened, and readers can find more details about the 408.



Porsche’s Gotthard Pass Interactive Ad

Driving through the Gotthard Pass is on the bucket list of many sports car enthusiasts. Located in the stunning Alps with an elevation of 2,106 meters, this famous mountain pass connecting southern and northern Switzerland is considered as one of the best driving routes in the world. It initially opened in 1830 and is now known for its hairpin turns and for having the world’s 4th longest vehicular tunnel as well as one of the most aptly named bridges, the Devil’s Bridge. The features of the Gotthard Pass is exactly what inspired Porsche in its latest interactive print advertisement.

With a combination of technological wonder, Porsche offers readers of Outside magazine a chance to drive through the famous Pass by making their print digitally interactive. Readers are invited to unfold the gatefold print and download the Blippar App for either Android or iOS to activate the ad. By simply holding one’s phone over the advertisement to capture the road pictures, a driving game will instantly pop-up on the screen. Users now have the chance of a digital lifetime to race a 718 up the Gotthard Pass using the print ad as their race track and their mobiles as a steering wheel. It’s cool, right?

All these print ads have come a long way since the first printed post was made. For years now, print advertising has adapted to the changing ways of life of peoples. And it will continue to do so in the years to come.

untitledAuthor’s Bio

Earl Jonathan Tech is a print marketing entrepreneur. He is the founder of PrintMeister, one of the newest online printing and advertising companies in Australia that offers flyer printing services among others. Earl’s work focuses mainly on marketing and merchandising, but he also writes in his spare time.


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