Category: Audio / Video Marketing

2018 Trends: Print in a Digital World

Shame on you if you’re still thinking of print as “traditional” marketing!

Beyond the fact that print is not dead, we’re firm believers that paper and ink can be as limitless as your imagination. Nowadays, consumers can access bedtime stories by scanning wallpaper, quit smoking by way of virtual reality and track their heart rate just from touching a magazine ad.

As brands continue to rethink their marketing, it’s important not to count print (or paper) out just yet. For many, it can aid in creating multi-sensory experiences, bringing together craftsmanship, creativity and design in a way that resonates with consumers.

Taking inspiration from the trends mentioned in St. Joseph Communications’ Print in a Digital World 2018 report, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most innovative projects we’ve been a part of to show you just how interesting paper can be.

TREND 1: Art, not ads.

“From smartphones to desktops and tablets to wearables, we cannot escape real-time digital experiences. Real disruption goes beyond swipes and taps. It comes from creating a wider sensory and immersive experience.” – St. Joseph Communications

SONY

Sony chose our Magic Window design for a direct mail campaign. The results? The average time spent with this mailer – 41 minutes. The rate of recall among recipients – 90%. The average time this piece was retained by recipients – 4 months.

VELUX SKYLIGHTS

We worked with full service agency Wray Ward Marketing to promote the commercial use capabilities of their client VELUX Skylights. They wanted to portray that VELUX Skylights was superior to its competition. The design they chose to do this was our table tent video box. The video screen is contained within the box. When you open up the box, the piece stands and locks into place displaying the informational video front and center. The video box also included play/pause and volume controls.

TREND 2: Beyond the page.

“The emergence of new channels and technologies are creating new opportunities for marketers. Virtual reality and augmented reality are bridging the gap between print and digital like never before. Downloadable apps can be easily introduced to campaigns, while more sophisticated brands are integrating these technologies into their own mobile platforms.” – St. Joseph Communications

FOOD LION

Food Lion Grocery Stores used this press kit to deliver information about the new layout and new products offered at its stores. When you open up the press kit, a replica of the new store pops up in the middle of the kit with detailed information on the new layout laid out in the middle. Also upon opening, a sound chip was activated to deliver an auditory announcement of the new stores. Each panel featured colorful imagery and information about the exciting changes of the store, and the right-hand panel also featured additional tabs of information that could be easily pulled out. The locking mechanism on the inside allowed the panels to lock in place making this the perfect comprehensive press kit for Food Lion.

PORSCHE

We designed and produced this custom Virtual Reality Viewer for Porsche. They used it to give consumers an interactive experience with their brand.

 

 

STRYKER DIAGNOSTICS

Stryker Diagnostics, the makers of hip and knee medical devices, chose this V-Pop design as a tradeshow invitation. When you open the invitation, a postcard pops up in the center. The call to action on the postcard was to bring the postcard to the Stryker booth to experience a 3D demonstration of the hip and knee devices. When users held the postcard marker in front of the web cams set up at the Stryker kiosks they were able to view a live 360 degree 3D demonstration of these devices.

TREND 3: Far from traditional.

“Thinking of print as ‘traditional’ is an old way of thinking. Consumers can cook, monitor their own health, and connect physical and digital channels thanks to a printed piece. These are the types of interactions that are meaningful to consumers.” – St. Joseph Communications

TOYOTA

The request was for something that has “never been done before.” With an LCD heart monitor and two completely independent electronic units in one magazine unit, this spectacular for the Toyota Camry certainly meets the criteria.

Incorporating movement, interaction and technology, this first-of-its-kind Camry insert is the latest re-invention of what print can be.

NATIONWIDE INSURANCE

Nationwide Insurance used this pie box mailer to deliver information about CareMatters, its long-term care product, to agents nationwide. The outside of the box pie box featured a partial mylar window that allowed recipients to get a sneak peek inside the box. In this case, a piece of the pie. Inside the box was a double-layered pie made out of paper that delivered different information as you turned the upper layer of the pie. There was also a brochure and a web key inside the box that drove agents to a unique landing page, specific to their agency, where they could learn more about this product. This box was also the winner of a GDUSA American Package Design Award!

GOOGLE

When you’re the most widely used web-based search engine in the world, how do you communicate with your audience in a way that is equally as big? Google chose this puzzle piece mailer to introduce the features of Google Earth Pro, its 3D interactive globe. The pieces of the puzzle were mailed inside the envelope and recipients were asked to connect it all together. The results? A fully dimensional ball featuring the features and benefits of Google Earth Pro.

Let’s Talk EDU: 5 Unique Ways to Market to the Next Generation

Before you can accept the best and the brightest, you’ve got to get their attention.

That’s where we come in.

Institutions from Manchester University all the way to University of Washington Tacoma are moving beyond the brochures, magazines and billboards traditionally used to market to students. Instead, they’re pushing their resources toward interactivity and the digital landscape. By using these unique higher education marketing strategies, colleges and universities can raise awareness of courses and programs while, ultimately, bringing new students into the fold.

Below are five key methods that savvy higher education institutions can use to creatively market their programs and reach a wider audience of prospective students.

  1. Cater to your audience, virtually. With smartphones and virtual reality headsets like our SleekPeeks, virtual reality is more accessible than ever. Not only have we seen countless universities offering virtual in-class experiences to online students, but we’ve also seen the technology become a part of the admissions process. Now, parents and students can explore campuses from afar with panoramic virtual reality tours inside buildings and around campuses.
  2. Get animated. Part of getting a prospective student excited about your institution is making an emotional connection with him or her. Video is a proven way to do just that. Whether it’s popularizing courses, highlighting campus or introducing students and parents to faculty, strategically crafted videos can speak to your target demographic. Even better? These videos can be leveraged across digital and print, allowing marketing teams to track ROI metrics. Pair your video with text using our Video in Print brochures, and you can do double duty.
  3. Personalize to fit your audience. A baseball player seeking to play at a D1 school isn’t necessarily going to have the same interests as an honors student looking to study pre-med. So, a university seeking to attract both students shouldn’t seek a one-size-fits-all approach to its marketing efforts. Like with any industry, when developing your marketing plan, it’s important to understand your audience: What content resonates with them? How do they currently perceive your school? How are they accessing your current content? Ensure that what you’re producing adds value to each group you want to target.
  4. Surprise and delight. Going to college is such a pivotal moment in the lives of so many young adults, yet so much of the higher education marketing we see doesn’t convey that excitement. Our Pop Up Cubes are extremely popular with colleges and universities because of their ability to engage and stand out from other mail. Not only do they ship flat, but as soon as the belly band is removed, they spring into action, showcasing the school in six eye-catching squares.
  5. Don’t forget the alumni! Maybe it’s a holiday card. Or an invitation to an upcoming alumni mixer. Whatever the occasion, the story of your school and the students’ place in it shouldn’t stop once they’ve graduated. Alumni are fantastic: They’re already a captive audience with an emotional connection to the school. Aside from donating real dollars, they can also offer compelling testimonials and clout to a university or college.

The Story Behind InStyle’s Toyota Ad

If you’re one of the 50,000 targeted subscribers who received the March issue of InStyle magazine, there may have been one spread in particular that stood out. And it wasn’t an article.

Rather, it was an ad. A Toyoto ad, to be precise, and it’s being touted as the first-of-its-kind magazine insert.

With a pulse reader, speaker and flashing lights, the insert, created by Saatchi & Saatchi in partnership with Structural Graphics, expertly uses sight, sound, smell and touch, to take readers in an extrasensory tour of Toyota’s 2018 Camry sedan. The insert not only marks the first time an LCD heart monitor has ever been put into a magazine, but also the first time two completely independent electronic units have been combined into a synchronized magazine unit.

“It was something brand new; completely undone ever before,” said Ethan Goller, President of Structural Graphics. “It was RND, new technology.”

According to Creative Director Erik Hluchan, the team at Structural Graphics was approached by Toyota’s agency of record, Saatchi & Saatchi with an idea to create a pop-up based on something they’d seen on the Internet. Together, with the help of Shin Wakabayashi, Paper Engineer, Noel Boland, Director of Design, and Goller, the team was able to engineer a clean, reliable pop-up experience that fit seamlessly into the magazine.

“It’s challenging when it goes into a magazine because of the way it’s treated,” Hluchan said. “Magazines are bent, they’re curved, they’re put into mailboxes, they’re rolled up sometimes. So you have to go through a lot of testing.”

The entire team worked tirelessly for months to turn this dream into a reality. And their testing really did pay off.

The insert helped the publication exceed its March budget, a sales rep. told AdWeek.

To interact with the insert, first, readers grip the door handles, placing their thumbs on clearly labeled, built-in sensors. As they open the “doors” to either side, they’re immediately met with a heart icon on the embedded LCD screen and then a pulse line. A beep keeps time with the pulse line. To fully immerse the reader into the scene, a subtle leather scent was also added.

“In today’s advertising environment, you really need to find ways to break through the clutter and engage consumers,” said CEO Mike Maguire. “This magazine spectacular certainly accomplishes this.”

Enhance Your Marketing with Video in Print

From Facebook and online ads, to YouTube and digital video, businesses have long had to compete with with the waning attention spans of their audience in the marketing arena. However, a newer technology offered by Structural Graphics and its online division, Red Paper Plane, might’ve just found that sweet spot.

Video in Print combines the detail of print with the emotional reach of video creating a one-of-a-kind multi-sensory experience for prospects looking to forge a connection with your brand, service or product.

But, just because your print piece has a video, it doesn’t mean that will guarantee its success. Design, message, packaging and production values contribute to the overall experience your customer or prospect has about your business. Here at Structural Graphics, we craft our Video in Print brochures by way of a high-tech, high-touch production process, allowing you to press proof your piece before shipping from one of our North American facilities.

Considering adding a Video in Print brochure to your marketing campaign? Below we’ve compiled a few suggestions to get you started.

Not all Video in Print players are created equal. Speakers, video screen, battery packs and wiring can vary greatly in quality. Ensure your supplier uses top quality components and has a thorough quality control in place. We proudly have a 10-year relationship with our Video in Print player supplier.

 

The power is in the playback. Make sure you choose the right file formats and the right settings for your video playback. We typically recommend a MP4, MOV, AVI or WMV video file format and a sound level of 75 to 80 dB. Also, double check that your supplier includes a USB cable for recharging the video brochure.

 

Short and sweet can’t be beat. Again, keep your audience’s attention span in mind. Video is a great way to deliver a 30 to 60 second message, but anything longer than that and you might want to consider breaking it into individual video “chapters”. Don’t forget the call to action so you can track responses.

 

Source global, but inspect and ship local. Because Video in Print players are sourced almost exclusively from the far East, they’re often powered down to 30 percent of rated capacity to meet International Air Traffic Association regulations. This can negatively impact playback quality. At Structural Graphics, we fully re-charge our batteries, then ship them to our customers. Our battery configuration is approved by the US Post Office and is CE ROHS certified, which means that our product has met the standards for consumer safety, health and environmental requirements in the U.S. and Europe.

Experience, there’s no substitute for it. For more than 40 years, Structural Graphics has designed, produced and engineered unique, interactive print communications for some of the top companies in the world. Simply put, we know print.

 

Take a look at our Video in Print portfolio and contact us for more information. We’ll show you how to be distinctively different with Video in Print advertising.

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Video in Print

In the world of marketing, you’ve probably heard the old standby, “show, don’t tell”. But what if you could do both?

Video in print (VPA) is a powerful marketing tool that allows your brand or business to stand out from the pack. By combining motion, sound, and print into one single piece, you’re effectively creating a multi-sensory experience for the recipient, drawing them in and establishing that initial connection between them and your brand.

Now, that’s a formula for success.

And the benefits don’t just end there. Based on our extensive experience designing and producing unique marketing collateral for brands, we’ve compiled a list of four reasons why you should consider using VPA for your next marketing campaign.

Simply put, it’s an effective tool for communication.  With VPA, not only do you get the tactile enjoyment of print, but you also get the action. This allows you to create a more holistic experience for your customers and prospects because you are able to provide them with a variety of touch points where they can engage with your brand.

VPA is an attention-grabber. Capturing the attention of your audience is one of the most important parts of marketing your products and services. But it’s also one of the most difficult. Many of us are so overwhelmed by the volume of emails we receive, as they only add more to the “digital clutter”. If you want to get your audience’s attention, you’ve got to deliver your information in a way that will engage – sending a printed brochure with an embedded video screen is the sure fire way to do just that!

It pulls at the heartstrings. Fusing video with print opens up more opportunities for your messaging to resonate with your audience and for them to forge a connection with you. The combination of visuals and sound, and copy work together to create a powerhouse emotional experience if done right.

Video is perceived to be more valuable than text alone. It’s no secret that video is often much more labor intensive and expensive to produce. So, when you decide to share a video, your audience is almost guaranteed to notice. Because of this, people will often give you more time, more contact information and even pay more for your product or service.

It’s a clear winner. Think for a moment: What kind of learner are you? For most of us, we’re visual learners and then about a third of the population considers themselves auditory. So, why compromise? VPA can ensure that your brand messaging can resonate with all types of learners because the information is simultaneously delivered verbally and visually. Aside from being exceptionally powerful, this also means there’s less chance they’ll misunderstand or misinterpret your message.

Print marketing already has the proven success to resonate with consumers alike. So, combining a high-impact printed format with a video screen is sure to get the attention  you’re looking for from your target audience.

Visit us online at StructuralGraphics.com to see our Video in Print gallery and to learn more about our formats. In a hurry? We’ve got you covered. Our online ordering division, Red Paper Plane has video in print solutions with a faster turn time of only 7 days. Not to mention, we’re constantly adding new designs as well – so make sure you check out all that we have to offer!

Print Marketing and the Power of WOW with Ethan Goller, Structural Graphics President

Structural Graphics President, Ethan Goller, shares the “making of” story behind the ground-breaking Toyota Magazine Insert and how SG brings “WOW” to the masses on “Podcasts from the Printerverse”. Give it a listen here: 

 

Why Integrating Direct Mail with Digital Targeting Will Get You Noticed

At Structural Graphics we are the leaders of the dimensional print marketing industry, and we have been for over 40 years. We are constantly re-defining what print can be by providing our clients with attention-getting solutions that stop people in their tracks. Our formats are engaging on their own, but by adding a digital element such as a Web Key, Video in Print, Virtual Reality, NFC tag, or QR code the piece becomes even more effective.

Check out the following article from CBT Automotive Network, Integrating Direct Mail with Digital Targeting, to learn 5 tips on how to incorporate technology in print in your current marketing efforts.

Structural Graphics’ Look Back on 2017

As we delve into another year, Structural Graphics looks back at some of the most effective dimensional print projects we worked on in 2017, from SleekPeeks® to disco balls (and even a mini planetarium!).

SleekPeeks®

The introduction of SleekPeeks®, inexpensive virtual reality headsets created by Structural Graphics, made it possible for brands like Porsche and USPS to deliver the ultimate interactive experience to their audience.

Lincoln Video Mailer

At the National Postal Forum in May 2017, our high-end video mailer for The Lincoln Motor Company’s “See it First” campaign was selected as the Grand Champion Award winner of the Irresistible Mail Awards trophy. The Irresistible Mail Awards is a USPS program that highlights mail pieces that increase engagement through innovative design, print or digital technologies. Structural Graphics structurally designed and hand assembled the piece.

Disco Ball Invitation

Featured as the 60-second Super-cool Fold of the Week, our “Simply Cool Swinging Disco Ball Accordion Invitation” was designed and produced for the Regional One Health Foundation. They used this mailer to invite people to their annual ONE Night Fundraiser. The invitation shipped flat, but the paper die-cut spheres on the cover immediately twirl in succession when you open up the mailer to create the illusion of a dimensional disco ball.

Dish Network Pop Up Cube

Used as a unique handout at the CES Show in Las Vegas, this pop up cube was delivered inside a half-sleeve, giving the recipient a sneak peek of what was on the inside. As the cube slides out, it immediately pops into shape delivering information about Dish Network’s award-winning DVR, The Hopper®. Click here to see it in action!

This Book is a Planetarium

In her newest book, “This Book is a Planetarium,” designer, innovator, and author Kelli Anderson takes commonly known mechanisms and replicates them through pop-up paper designs. Kelli came up with the initial engineering in her studio and then reached out to the team at Structural Graphics to make the Planetarium piece in the book production-ready. When you place the flashlight of your smartphone underneath the Planetarium dome, the constellations are displayed as if you were viewing them in the night’s sky.

Audi Pop-Up Brochure

Our Circle Pop-Up Brochure Mailer that we designed for Audi and their printer, Hennegan, was awarded Silver in the “Dimensional Printing” category of the Gold Ink Awards. Presented by Printing Impressions, The Gold Ink Awards is the industry’s most prestigious print competition. It’s open to all creators and producers of printed materials, and encompasses nearly 50 categories within commercial printing, magazines, books, catalogs, digital printing and packaging.

Tips & Tricks for Using Video in Print

Happy New Year!

Video in Print advertising (VPA) is a unique way to fuse the emotional elements of video with the informative nature of print into one highly effective marketing piece. Here are some tips to ensure you get the best piece for your marketing spend.

  • Pick a reputable supplier. Anyone with a web site and an electronics supplier in China can sell video in print advertising so make sure the supplier you choose has design and manufacturing expertise.
  • VPA itself is not patented. While some suppliers claim it is, only a few of the scores of designs available are covered by patent protection so you have many choices available to you.
  • Video units are not created equal. Make sure your supplier uses top quality components.
  • Chose the right files. To ensure the quality of your video and sound we recommend using the following:
    a. Video File Format: MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, (Codec: MPEG-4,Divx,Xvid 720P)
    b. Audio output: Mono speaker
    c. Sound level: 75-80 dB
  • The shorter, the better. Video is a great way to deliver your message, but keep it to 30-60 seconds. And don’t forget the call to action so you can track responses.
  • Double check the packaging. Make sure the shipper will hold up in the mail and deliver your video unit in working order.
  • Don’t forget the design elements. Designing the VPA unit with print treatments and engaging design elements can help you match the piece to your company’s personality.

At Structural Graphics, we have produced hundreds of thousands of video units for some of the top Automotive, Pharmaceutical, Financial Services, Manufacturing and Entertainment brands in the world. Check out our VPA Gallery here.

5 Unique (and Budget-Friendly) Ways to Thank Your Customers

It’s happened to all of us: You go to check your inbox and there to greet you are dozens of emails expressing thanks. “Thank you for your purchase.” “Thank you for subscribing.” “Thank you for participating in our event.”

But how effective are these email “thank yous” anyway?

As any good marketer knows, a simple “thank you” is all it takes to set your business or brand apart from the competition. But these days, with the overwhelming amount of digital communication available, saying it through email just isn’t enough. To help you get ahead and stand out from the pack, we’ve compiled some clever ways to thank your customers that are effective, impactful and have nothing to do with clicking send.

  1. Show, don’t tell. Instead of sending out a boilerplate email or even a standard “thank you” card, try showing recipients how much they mean to you by way of video. Not only do videos increase people’s understanding of a product or service, but it also allows you to showcase your brand’s personality and connect emotionally with your audience. Our Video-In-Print Brochures are a great place to start.
  2. Be engaging. Easier said than done, right? At Structural Graphics, we’re all about engagement, whether that means incorporating digital components into your direct mail or simply taking a unique approach to it altogether. From pop-up books and Telescoping Sliders to virtual reality head sets (ours are called SleekPeeks) and our iconic Flapper, we’ve got you covered.
  3. Give them something to remember you by. There’s no use in sending your customers marketing collateral if it doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Why not create a “thank you” that has some longevity by incorporating functional elements into your piece as well? Take this polygon calendar we created for Cars.com or a Pop Up Pen Holder like the one seen here.
  4. Surprise and delight. Emotions drive people to action. Consider including a little something unexpected in your “thank you” that will not only ensure that your brand is memorable to your intended recipient, it will also encourage them to interact with your brand in positive ways. Perhaps they’ll tell their friends about your brand or even read on in your “thank you” to purchase your product or service. Maybe it’s LED lights incorporated into your piece. Or maybe it’s sound to transport the recipient to your location. Interested in seeing some examples? Check out this video we did spotlight SKM Consumers Energy’s Pop Up House.
  5. Don’t stop there. Your thank you note should be more than just an expression of thanks. Think of Calls to Action to get the recipient to interact with your brand, whether that’s encouraging him to visit your website or asking her to share a photo of the piece on social media. This has two benefits: It’s fun for your recipient and it’s trackable for you. Our web keys are a perfect example of how to do this right.