By 6 September 2016 | Categories: Misc



It’s no secret that print media is on the down and out. More and more people are turning to the internet for news and information.

A recent Global Media Report by McKinsey & Company shows that “spending on media continues to shift from traditional to digital products and services at a rapid pace. By 2019, we believe digital spending will account for more than 50% of overall media spend…. As it continues, it will not only expand the digital share of the media wallet, but have a structural effect on almost all media sub-sectors, redefining business models.”

With digital media encroaching more and more on print media’s turf, there has never been a more important time to get creative and innovative with your print advertising.

Here are five innovative solutions to keep your print advertising fresh:

1. Engaging Quick Response (QR) Codes

A QR code is a printed 2D barcode that you scan using your phone’s camera. This directs users to anything from to a website and a video, to Google Maps and vCard information. QR codes can even trigger an event like a phone call – a handy addition to your business card.  The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Take Ford, for example. They used QR codes to show off their latest Ford Explorer. Three interactive ads were printed, each with their own QR code. The reader could scan the code, line up their phone on top of the ad page, and see the car in action on their screen.

Another innovative idea was done by JC Penney, an American department store. They added QR codes to all their gift tags during the holiday season. This allowed the gift giver to record a personalised message that would be played when the recipient scanned that QR code, together with a dash of JC Penney marketing.

QR codes can be generated free of charge. All your customers need to use them is a QR code scanner app; there are many free ones to choose from. You’ll be up and running in no time.

2. Interactive Paper

When printing flyers or leaflets, consider how the physical paper itself can be used to showcase your business and products.

Coca Cola FM created a beautiful example of this. They included cut-out and fold areas in their magazine ad, which, when assembled, formed a cellphone amplifier to boost up the volume on their listeners’ Coca Cola FM parties.

Get creative when considering your paper choice and design. Try incorporate folds and functionality to relay a fresher, stronger message for your business. This doesn’t have to cost you any extra money, it just requires some creativity. Consider including origami fold instructions that match and strengthen your message. The image on the right is a fantastic example. This business used a child’s game (creating a fortune teller out of a square piece of paper) into an incredibly creative flyer design.

3. Humourous Content

Why so serious?

Try to incorporate humour into your print advertising. Where appropriate, humour triggers an emotional response from your audience, which helps associate positive feelings with your brand. These positive feelings make your brand memorable to your customers. According to Pascale, research shows that just 42% of positive experiences are forgotten, while 60% of negative experiences fade from memory.

So be funny and if you can’t be funny, be interesting.  People want to be entertained or educated, so make sure that your print advertising ticks one or both of those boxes.

4. Incorporate Apps

Apps can turn your leaflets, flyers and other print media into engaging experiences for your customers. Create an app that adds a layer of interaction to your print advertising to revive your static content and make the experience so much more exciting.

Ikea has achieved this beautifully by integrating their printed catalogue with a catalogue app. The app uses augmented reality to allow customers to “try out” selected catalogue products in their homes. This has helped Ikea customers make sure that they don’t buy furniture items that are too big for their living spaces.

By integrating your print media with an app, you not only tell people about your business, but demonstrate it as well.

5. Recycle Print Media Online

A major challenge is the time-consuming process of generating content for both print and online audiences. Your print media is a treasure trove of content that you can repurpose for your online marketing channels. This is a cost-effective and time-saving method to keep your business’s online presence fresh.

-        Do you have several flyers and posters? Turn the images and information into interesting and funny social media posts.

-        Do you have an informative booklet? Compile this into a PowerPoint to share on Slideshare.

-        Do you have lots of leaflets? Use these for theme ideas on which to base new blogs and thought pieces. If you write these well, you can even send them to relevant online publications.

-        Do you have reports and information including data and statistics? Turn these into interesting, easy-to-read infographics that can be used on your website and social media.

So what’s the big takeaway?

With some creative thinking and effort, your print media can be even more engaging, interactive and effective in bringing in new leads for your business. These tips, along with a bit of out-of-the-box-thinking, will set you on the right path towards innovative and revived print media.



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