Category: Marketing Insights

The Story Behind DEPARTURES Magazine’s Audi Insert

How do you showcase a symphony of lights from a beloved brand using paper?

That was the riddle presented to Structural Graphics earlier this year when Audi of America’s agency of record, PHD Media, tapped Meredith Corporation to create a truly unique magazine insert in DEPARTURES Magazine. According to Don Stone, Meredith Corporations’ Senior Operations Manager and lead for this project, the Structural Graphics team “immediately came to mind.”

Not only did the insert need to excite and grab the attention of Audi’s target consumers; it also needed to highlight the “innovative and elegant” lighting experience of the new Audi A8.

“We designed the lighting package around the photography from Venables Bell & Partners, the creative agency for Audi,” said Ethan Goller, President of Structural Graphics. “We used 49 LEDs firing in exactly the same sequence as the A8.”

Readers of the magazine also receive a faux key fob, which has functioning lock and unlock buttons.

“By clicking the key fob lock or unlock button, you could experience the incredible A8 lighting sequence greeting you as you approach the car,” Goller said. “Great photography, combined with an elegant print treatment, high-end paper stocks and the lighting package we created, Departures Magazine gave the luxury and premium feel the Audi A8 demands.”

The record-breaking number of LED’s SG developed to mimic the Audi A8’s unique lighting design animation, along with producing the remote control faux key fob used to trigger the display lights is a one-of-a-kind experience that has never been done before.

Structural Graphics, which has been in the business for more than 42 years, is no stranger to using cutting-edge technology in its clients’ interactive print designs. In fact, this past summer, an ad in Instyle Magazine for Toyota created by Saatchi & Saatchi in partnership with Structural Graphics featured a heart rate monitor, sound module and pulsing lights. Another ground-breaking, never been done before technology.

Shin Wakabayashi, one of the paper engineers who worked on the Audi insert, talked about how he and his team help to enhance client print communications through the use of paper.

“Experimenting with it, whether it’s drawing on it or cutting into it or folding it, that’s when I start to see possibilities,” he said. “There’s a million different ways to create something, whether it’s flat or it’s dimensional. There’s a lot of shapes and forms and movements that you can make out of paper.”

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.

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.”

The Power of Print Marketing

Written By Isabelle Bowden

The digital revolution has propelled society into a new era of engagement and creativity. This shift has significantly changed the marketing industry. Social media and technological innovation illustrate the power of digital marketing. However, in this fast-paced world of screens and computer chips, high-touch print collateral can, and does, have a surprisingly profound impact.

Interactive print marketing is a powerful tool which allows your brand or business to stand out from the competition. Various colors, dimensions, textures, and even lights, sounds, and video contribute to an effective multi-sensory experience with a lasting impact. Below are four reasons to choose print marketing for your next high-impact campaign:

  1. Effective recipient engagement

Paper has been a valuable resource since the earliest civilizations. The tactile fulfillment and sensory experience associated with print marketing is undeniably effective. The vast amount of online information dilutes the impact of digital messages. Standout from the digital clutter by choosing a dimensional print promotion from Structural Graphics!

  1. Creativity and personalization

With many options for print marketing, your business can stand out with unique and thoughtful designs. Think sizes, dimensions, finishes, and other fine details that will make your creation valuable. Visit Structural Graphics and Red Paper Plane to browse a variety of designs and examples.

  1. Promotes relationships

The value of a handwritten note is undeniable. This same value applies to print marketing which demonstrates an investment in business relations. Dedicating time and resources for print marketing will have more of a lasting impact than an email, already lost in the inbox. In fact, this 2018 FedEx survey reveals that “85% of participants said they were more likely to shop at a small business that had customer printed materials such as business cards, signs, and flyers.”

  1. A more established, unique brand/presence

Print marketing contributes to a more established and unique brand and/or presence in an industry. Consistent aesthetic elements on your print results in instant recognition! FedEx states that “80% of small business owners felt that professional printing services helped their business stand out from the competition.” Now is the time for your brand to be recognized!

Despite the growth of digital marketing, it is evident that print will continue to play a critical role in effective marketing mixes. Visit Structural Graphics online on our website or Youtube channel to learn about and see more of our work. We are constantly adding new designs, so make sure you check out all Structural Graphics has to offer. When it comes to dimensional print marketing, we are the 42 year leaders in the business, and we’re here to make your brand stand out!

Resources:

Fedex Office Survey Confirms that Consumers and Small Business Owners Prefer Print

This Book is a Planetarium (No, Really!)

Designer Kelli Anderson is known for her “disruptive” and extraordinarily creative designs.

A few years ago, she had the idea to create a book – made entirely out of paper – that would feature a pop-up pinhole camera. And that camera, she vowed, had to work. Kelli contacted Structural Graphics to help fine-tune the design and make it come to life. You can learn more about her piece, aptly titled This Book is a Camera, here.

Now, Kelli is back at it, again, with her most recent title: This Book is a Planetarium.

Inside this unique book are six interactive contraptions meant to answer the deceptively simple question: “How does it work?”. For instance, there’s a pop-up speaker which allows the reader to place his or her smartphone inside and project sound through the conical structure. Then there’s the pop-up guitar-like instrument (completed with a pick) that’s meant to show how a variety of sounds can be produced by amplifying string vibrations at varying speeds.

But perhaps the most exemplary part, and the piece for which the book got its name, is the pop-up planetarium. Taking advantage of light, this piece features die-cut holes formed into the patterns of the constellations of the night sky. Our team at Structural Graphics helped to make Kelli Anderson’s remarkable design production-ready. All the reader needs to do is slip his or her cell phone (in flashlight mode) beneath the planetarium and turn out the lights to see the constellations come to life.

To learn more about this project and see it in action, click here.

 

7 Tips to Help Your Business Save on Postage (Infographic)

We’ve seen it firsthand; direct mail can be a wonderfully cost-effective way to reach targeted prospects and current customers with your brand’s marketing. But costs, like postage, can drive up the price if you’re not careful.

Inspired by the folks at TargetMarketingMag.com, we created this handy infographic showcasing some of our favorite tips on how to save money on postage. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to read the full article by TargetMarketingMag.com.

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!

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.

4 Easy Steps to Design a Piece on Red Paper Plane

Are you a small business or solo entrepreneur? Do you need a marketing piece turned around quickly in order to meet a deadline? Do you want your piece to be of high quality but not for it to cost a fortune?

Have you heard about RedPaperPlane.com?

Red Paper Plane is the online ordering division of Structural Graphics. It provides clients with an easy and intuitive way to design the high-impact formats we’ve become known for, including pop-up cubes, greeting cards and the Flapper. And you don’t need to be a professional designer to do it! Using our online design tool, anyone can customize the direct mail formats with their logo, photos and text in a fraction of the time it used to take to place art to one of our templates offline.

Just follow these four simple steps:

  1. Choose your format.
  2. Download the template.
  3. Upload your artwork.
  4. Proof and order!

Whether you’re an experienced designer, a marketing professional or a small business owner, Red Paper Plane has created an online experience with your needs in mind.

6 Quick Tips to Improve Your Brand Photography

As any good marketer knows, first impressions are everything.

So, when a prospective client visits your website, glances at your portfolio and determines whether or not they will hire you, you better make sure your product photography is on point.

Product photography is so important for countless reasons. Not only can it stimulate a general need for your product, but it also showcases its usefulness, significant features and quality. Following these six basic tips will help you to master both the technique and artistry of product photography – and ensure that you never lose a lead because of it.

1) Follow the light. Finding a good source of light is essential when it comes to photographing your products. To avoid adding unnecessary shadows to your image, keep things simple: shoot in a well-lit area, use natural light when possible and be mindful of objects like clouds that may cast unnecessary darkness.

2) Choose the right backdrop. Use your background to complement your product, not distract from it. When just starting out, opt for a simple, single-color backdrop. The purpose here is to let your product be the center of attention.

3) Consider the human element. Using models may or may not be useful for you, depending on what you are trying to sell/ photograph. Perhaps you are a jewelry company looking to promote your new selection of necklaces. Or maybe you’re looking to mentor young students. Evaluate whether or not a persona will be able to show the value of your product and effectively tell the story of your brand.

4) Show scale. Give your audience a sense of how big or small your product is. By placing the product next to a common object, you can showcase a point of difference or feature how easy it is to use.

5) Play with focus. No one wants to look at a gallery of static images. To create a more dynamic spread, consider honing in on the key points of your product and pulling it forward from the background using your camera’s focus. This is a great way to highlight the quality of your product as well as its usefulness, especially if you’re looking to compare your products with a competitor’s.

6) Tell a story. It may seem silly to think that a product photo can tell a story, but keeping this in the back of your mind will take your images from good to great. Instead of photographing your product in front of a white background, consider capturing it in use. Place it in its natural environment. Or capture someone’s reaction to it. There are countless ways to set your images, and thus your product, apart by creating or playing into the emotions of your audience.