The competition to increase the admissions yield in higher education is stiffer than ever, according to the University of College Designers Association. Schools are looking for ways to stand out and differentiate themselves from everyone else.
Seton Hall University chose our Rolling Cube to deliver information about their university to prospective students. This is one of our most interactive pieces. When you pull the cube from the mailer it keeps unfolding to reveal multiple cubes of information. Words don’t do it justice – be sure to click on the flash movie to see it in action!
Today’s automotive industry moves fast and furious, so it’s important to showcase your vehicles in new and creative ways. But how do you show change and innovation on paper? You don’t. You show it WITH paper.
The automotive company was looking to encourage people to visit their service center display at the National Automobile Dealers Association’s Las Vegas convention in 2003. To do this, they cleverly employed several marketing techniques that can apply to any brand or industry.
Stay true to your roots. Chrysler, which has a strong brand identity, chose to showcase a miniature version of a Chrysler dealership right down to the cars, service desk and employees.
Never underestimate the ‘WOW Factor’. Pop-up mailers are a really unique way to capture the attention of your audience. This particular one ships flat but, because of its interactivity, detail and uniqueness, it also surprises and delights.
Less can be more – when it’s done right. Sometimes it’s just better to get to the point. To really maximize the space on this mailer, Chrysler chose to include short bursts of essential information instead of paragraphs of marketing speak. Rather than trying to convince attendees to visit its display, the team chose to let the excitement of the mailer speak for itself.
Include a call to action. In this mailer, Chrysler is up front about what it wants – for people to visit the company’s service center display at the conference.
Offer an incentive. We all know that people generally love to win free stuff. So, instead of just asking conference attendees to visit Chrysler’s display, they wanted to make the visit worthwhile. To make their call to action even more powerful, the company also advertised that they would be offering a chance to win a free year of ServiceVision.
Don’t forget the basic information. Between the bells and the whistles, it’s easy for marketers to get caught up in the excitement of a piece and forget the most basic of information. Always include the date, time and location (if applicable) of any event you or your business are/ is attending.
Catchy openings are key. Embracing the convention’s location, Chrysler took inspiration from Las Vegas’ neon lights and showgirls. The mailer’s cover is colorful and hints at the purpose for sending it out. It also beckons the recipient to open it up to see what’s inside.
Video is one of the most talked-about subjects in the marketing industry right now, and with good reason. Did you know that videos increase people’s understanding of a product or service by 74%?
Everyone from social media strategists and content creators to businesses and brands are all jumping aboard this trend. Why? They all understand how and why video has become such a popular mechanism to win new business and increase audience loyalty.
But despite its growing relevance, one of the questions we get most is: How do I get started with video marketing? Here, we’ve included a few tips to help make your marketing videos even more effective.
Choose the right files. To ensure the quality of your video and sound are exactly where you want it, 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
Keep it short. Video is a great vehicle for delivering your message, if it’s done effectively. Keep your videos short (30-60 seconds) and entertaining while still delivering on substance.
Don’t forget the CTA. Perhaps it’s as simple as encouraging viewers to visit your website or call a direct line. Whatever the call to action is, don’t forget it. This will help you track responses and, perhaps more importantly, determine the success of your marketing efforts.
Make your messaging digestible. In addition to keeping your content brief, remember to share your messaging in short, potent bursts. Perhaps this means separating your video into “chapters” or creating a YouTube series to really hit home your product or brand. Allowing viewers to enjoy your content in bite-size pieces ensures your audience will absorb more of the information you’re delivering.
Consider Video-in-Print formats. Here 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.
We created this History Socks Box for A&E so they could showcase, in their words, “some of their best footage ever” with their ad sales clients. Each quarter, A&E chooses two of their hottest shows to highlight. In this case, it’s Join or Die with Craig Ferguson and Vikings.
This box is the first of its kind for the network and was designed to hold three pairs of socks – two inspired by that quarter’s featured shows and a third made up of spares. The box also includes an insert with show descriptions and scheduled airings.
Interested in learning more about what went into creating this box? Head on over to our website or email us.
Each year, businesses throughout North America choose Structural Graphics to produce thousands of dimensional projects customized to fit their individual needs. But what about the multitude of other designs our paper engineers have created but have never been produced?
SG Unfolded, which launched this week, is intended to showcase one-of-a-kind inventions born of innovative thinking and precision engineering. We have such a large library of designs, that we wanted to shine a spotlight on some of the amazing work our paper engineers think up behind the scenes, which may have never made it into a client’s hands.
Our hope is not only to show off these designs, but also to help you get to know our paper engineers and their approach to crafting novel pieces for marketing professionals, Fortune 500 companies, universities and the like. Perhaps these pieces will even inspire you!
Currently, we have 16 designs on SG Unfolded (and our related Instagram account, with more queued up and ready to be posted for you to enjoy every week. Multiple images are posted for each design, including a short video to showcase how the mechanism works.
“If a picture paints 1,000 words then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million.”
– Dr James McQuivey, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research
Within the last decade or so, the marketing landscape has changed tremendously. Traditional outreach in the form of catalogues and printed post cards has given way to email blasts and digital ads as consumers increasingly spend their time online.
This change in consumer behavior means that we, as marketers, must also alter the way in which we produce content for the companies and the brands we represent. Not only do we need to be more intentional with the stories we tell, but we must become more strategic in how we tell them.
Research shows that printed collateral continues to be a compelling and successful way to capture the attention of your target audience. However, when coupled with video, print has the capability to not only gain consumers’ attention, but also to hold it.
The statistics are there:
70% of marketing professionals report that video converts better than any other medium (CodeFuel)
90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions (HubSpot)
76% of companies who have used videos in the past year report a direct business impact (AdWeek)
With the blurring pace of modern society, video is one of the few types of mediums that caters to the consumers of today, while still providing the value, relevance and trackable metrics marketing professionals are after. But how can we merge the strengths of print with those of video to create a singular high-impact marketing tool?
Our video-in-print brochures offer an effective option when it comes to getting your company noticed. One of the biggest advantages of combining these two mediums is the ability to enhance your brand messaging through engaging and supporting content. Video is highly visual and auditory, which means it’s easier for people to remember than text-based content. When consumers remember your video content, they, in turn, remember your brand. This can translate into better brand loyalty as well as more sales and leads.
Aetna used this dynamic video brochure to send information about its “smarter” healthcare solutions to consumers. The inside of the brochure featured a video screen with 6 buttons underneath it. By pressing each button, consumers could watch a video and learn more about each of the different solutions offered by Aetna.
T-CAAN is one of Canada’s oldest and most extensive networks of independent advertising, marketing and communication agencies. Information Packaging of Canada used this video handout at a recent T-CAAN event in Calgary. The mechanism they used was the Extendo. When you pull out the bottom panel, another panel automatically slides out from the top featuring a video about Information Packaging.
Nationwide Financial went “all out” and used this video invitation for its 2016 Nationwide Sales Invitational, a high-end event that rewards an elite group of advisors for their life and annuity sales volume and sales potential with Nationwide. The inside of this elegant mailer featured a video about the event complete with play/pause and volume controls.
What are you waiting for? Get in touch and let’s figure out how to take your marketing to the next level.
One glimpse of the mail carrier, donning his USPS garb, and I wait anxiously to see whether there’s anything addressed to me. But on those days when I’ve got more than bills or credit card offers stuffed in my mailbox, that childlike excitement I felt earlier all too quickly disintegrates into something else: disappointment.
There are the flat mailers that have my name incorrectly printed on them. There are the catalogs with promo codes so buried I get exhausted from flipping through before even finding them. And there are the dreaded cards and the postcards that I barely even look at before throwing away.
These pieces all have one thing in common (besides meeting my recycling bin): they’reboring. And as businesses increase their efforts to vie for your attention this holiday season, as marketers you want to be anything but. So, if you’re not currently creating (or, at the very least, brainstorming) some ways to set your direct mail apart, you’re already missing out on the opportunity to make a memorable impression.
But don’t worry, it’s not too late to get your company or your products noticed in time for the holidays. Here, we’ve curated some of our most helpful tips on how to bring back that “wow factor” during the most magical time of the year.
Go dimensional. Perhaps the easiest way to make a real impact with little-to-no-effort? Incorporate dimension. By incorporating pieces like our 3″ pop-up cube into your marketing, it’s easy to put forth your messaging in a way that takes advantage of 3D (but still ships flat).
Embrace technology. For better or for worse, we live in a digital world and it’s just going to get that much more – er – digitaler. Instead of rejecting this characteristic of modern life, we say embrace it! Want your print advertising to play your jingle? Want to incorporate virtual reality or LED lights into your messaging? Make your customers feel like a kid around the holidays by sending them something shiny AND bright in the mail.
Video is your friend. Did you know that videos increase people’s understanding of a product or service by 74%? In case you’ve been living under a rock, video is super trendy right now. Combine video with one of our high-impact print solutions and you’ve got a powerful marketing tool.
Surprise them. If a consumer is able to predict how a promotional piece is going to look or feel before they even get their hands on it, you can almost bet that it will get lost and maybe even thrown away. Make your brand as exciting as you are – that unexpected element will not only set you apart from your competitors, but it’ll leave a lasting impression in your recipients’ minds.
Think Interactive. Print plays to the human senses in ways that digital tech is hard-pressed to match. By delivering a direct mail piece that recipients can engage with, you’re not only getting their attention, but you’re strengthening your brand’s longevity, too.
Feeling inspired? Have an idea for how your business can target the next generation of purchasers? Contact us to get started.
There are a lot of oooh’s and ahhh’s around virtual reality, and that’s because it’s one of the most cutting edge technologies out there today. If you’re in the pharma industry, you might be wondering, “OK, I want to take my company or prescription to the next level.” But how?
“Here are a few ways to use VR technology to promote awareness of your brand in a totally unique way:
Build Empathy: If your product treats a condition with significant sensory effects, such as Parkinson’s or chronic migraines, you can use VR at conferences to let clinicians “feel” what it’s like to actually be a patient with that condition—feel their hands shake, see their vision become distorted as a migraine aura takes hold. Clinicians can get so caught up in the science of various diseases, so distracted by the seemingly endless paperwork demanded by insurance companies, that it’s sometimes easy for them to lose sight of why they became doctors in the first place. VR can help them get back in touch with that altruism and empathy in a truly impactful way. Brand messages then reach a much more engaged target.
Facilitate Training: Is your product a medical device, a complex stent, for example? Let clinicians experience—without fear of failure—how it feels to use the device, and the audience for your brand message will be all ears.
Bring Science to Life: Mechanism of Action animations are nothing new, but to experience “being” in the bloodstream, penetrate a cell wall to deliver healing medicine—that type of immersive MOA has real punch. At a recent American College of Cardiology annual meeting, Boehringer Ingelheim offered attendees a VR experience exploring the mechanism-of-action behind a new pharmaceutical agent. The MOA demo, developed by VR experts Confideo Labs, drew long lines at the BI booth.”
Looking to incorporate virtual reality into your next campaign? Visit our virtual reality page, and scroll down to the bottom of the page to request a free sample.
Is virtual reality really the next major marketing trend?
Well, before you answer that question, consider this: Brands like McDonald’s, GE and Samsung have already adopted this technology. Facebook and YouTube already allow users to view 360-degree videos by utilizing the gyroscope on their mobile devices. Roughly $4 billion have already been invested in start-ups working on virtual reality, while studies have shown that VR, if embraced by the public, could reach upwards of $126 billion in revenues by 2020.
Judging by those stats (as well as this, this and this), the hype and expectations for virtual reality in 2016 couldn’t be higher. But how can brands use VR in their own marketing outreach in a creative yet cost-effective way?
With our SleekPeeks, we set out to solve that very problem. The introduction of inexpensive VR headsets has made it possible for brands to deliver the ultimate interactive experience to consumers, allowing them to literally walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. These fully customizable viewers ship flat and take seconds to assemble.
Clients have already included them in a magazine as part of their ad, sent them in the mail alongside a promotion and used them as handouts at trade shows.
But, while it may be tempting to incorporate VR into every future project, it’s still essential to make sure your marketing aligns naturally with your strategic brand objectives.
When that’s the case, we recommend using VR to:
Virtual reality, at its best, is a truly transformative experience. Not only can it create an interactive, hands-on environment to showcase your products, but it’s also an exciting, albeit challenging, way to interact with your consumers.
Need to reach your audience? Contact us to see how you can incorporate VR into your next promotional piece.
The holiday season is in full swing, and hand-in-hand with that comes gift-giving fever. That fever has spread from our holiday hearts all the way to YouTube, with the increasingly popular unboxing videos. According to ThinkWithGoogle.com,
Unboxing video views have grown 57% over the past year, and uploads have grown more than 50%. But it’s not just the growth in the unboxing genre that’s impressive—it’s the sheer volume, too. It would take more than seven years to watch all the videos on YouTube with “unboxing” in the title that have been uploaded so far just this year. And those videos have more than a billion views in this year alone.
Thank you, ThinkWithGoogle. That’s just what we did – we “thunk with Google”, to design and produce their Unboxing box. This was sent to hand-selected YouTube celebrities to promote the Google Store, and designed to have an element of surprise when unveiling each featured technology product. And the response was simply outstanding:
4 million views, with 11 million projected by Christmas.
And also, some sweet comments straight from the Unboxing YouTube celebrities themselves:
“That’s the best part, the packaging. ‘Gavin came in, and he’s like “This packaging is legit.’ And you know when Gavin thinks your packaging is legit, you’ve got a great product.”
Thanks, Gavin & Shay fam! And from Captain Sparklez…
“What?! This is the coolest packaging I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I don’t even want to disassemble this.”
We’re blushing! That’s the highlight, but let’s backtrack (spoiler alert: here’s where we start to talk about ourselves, boxes, and Google, a lot)…
Fast forward to September, when it came time to develop the box for their Google Store Unboxing Launch, they asked us whether or not we do boxes. (Answer: look here, or even here for a bit more luxury.) I mean this is Google, and we’re Structural Graphics, so naturally, we said yes. We practically invented boxes.*
(That may or may not be true.)*
On September 16th was the initial kickoff call to discuss concepts. At first, the sole and simple goal we had to accomplish was, “we need a box to hold products”.
Originally, we started with a white box with clouds. All of these 7 technology products, which can be seen in the Google Store, could have easily been thrown into any old, standard, 8-sided-vanilla-box. But that’s not really our style.
We then started with what any sensible person does in this day and age: we Googled it. We googled the Google products to get grasp on what it would need to hold, specifically the size, and how we could package that up.
As time went on, the inspiration developed. We were given a few more things to chew on:
1. Google presented us with a ‘Mood Board’, basically a brain dump of what it needed to include, and 2. What not to do: not a traditional printing press or corrugate. I mean, let’s be honest here, creative freedom + super cool client = any designer’s dream. Our brainstorm session produced a list that looked like this: Rubik’s cubes, puzzle, with the idea to create more of an ‘experience’ than anything.
Mission: possible. Erik, one of our paper engineers, came up with the puzzle box concept, and that’s when things with the entire team really took off.
As you can see clearly, it was all hands on deck! From a design and materials standpoint, this box was pretty far out of the comfort zone for our group. The materials and scale of this project was foreign. Typically, we deal with folding cartons, but every single person had hands on this project in order to turn around 2 sets of comps and “push the limits of design & engineering”.
On November 6th, upon assembly of the puzzle box, this was their reaction:
“Sweeeeeet, it’s really coming along nicely!”
Of course, we echoed that.
So, the design was complete, but the job wasn’t over. Once these people receive it, what was the user experience going to be like?
There were a few small, yet critical details. First, was a card insert from the Google brand team, personalized & hand done with black Sharpie. Second, there was a little issue with the puzzle pieces, they didn’t quite stay together during shipment. Okay, thought our design team: how can we fix this? Why don’t we put it in gift-wrapping paper? Develop custom Google wrapping paper, which was actually functional. Genius.
Timing was a huge component for this project, considering it needed to drop by Black Friday. The second comp turn-around time was 3 days, and because of timing, we sent a template without sending a second comp. They never received a final produced prototype (only the press proof) before shipping to the influencers.
The night before delivery was crunch time. Gustavo, Vice President, Operations, and Teresa, Director of Business Development, left Mexico at 1:45am for delivery. They had 2 hours and 15 minutes to make it. From there, it was Fed Ex same day shipped, with critical care, and a contract with independent TSA couriers. Anddddddd, *sigh* just in time.
You might notice, if you’ve been paying attention to the timeline, that one of the most impressive parts of this story was the timing it took from concept to influencer delivery: 7 weeks.
“Amazing work under a brutal timeline.”
And just like that, that was it. 7 weeks. 7 products. 24 pounds without products, 35 pounds with products. Lots of hard work, and of course, a little bit of play…