There is a revolution taking place in the realm of video in the form of printed marketing materials. In the past few years the technology has developed to the level that we have not seen in the past. With miniaturization of components and reduction in costs, embedding video components into traditional printed materials is beginning to appear in the marketplace and it has incredible potential for advertisers, marketers and many other possible applications yet to be exploited.
At Zelen Communications we have embraced the concept of utilizing this amazing new avenue of promotion and have already developed several final pieces for clients. Although we are not presently at the forefront of this movement, we are vastly ahead of other agencies, in that we have taken it upon ourselves to go beyond relying on existing resources in the U.S. for production. We started down this path when performing research for one of our clients. After interviewing the two major players in the marketplace, we quickly realized that they were little more than brokers for the manufacturers in China. Not only was pricing marked up already, but the production time lines were not acceptable. Since we were not collaborating directly with the producers, we were losing time, money and access to their expertise in producing the products we desired.
After becoming frustrated with the process stateside we made the decision to bypass these resources and instead seek out a manufacturer so we could develop a direct relationship. By doing so we knew we could achieve better price points and better control the production process. After contacting numerous potential companies, we finally struck upon a viable contractor we felt had the capabilities we desired and a relationship we could trust. This is not an easy process as the Asian marketplace can be highly problematic due to fraudulent vendors. Thus far, our vendor has proven to be very reliable and desires a long-term relationship as well.
This is not to say that we may not be able to locate additional resources with similar, or perhaps even better capabilities. We have not yet found the need to seek out more possible vendors.
In looking at the potential avenues for how to exploit the power of video technology embedded into traditional marketing materials, the surface just been scratched. We have seen a number of innovative pieces that have already been developed including:
- Pocket folders
- Traditional packaging such as boxes
- Automotive marketing kits
- Real estate collateral
- Gift packaging
- POP marketing materials such as counter top displays
- Greeting cards
- Business cards
- Magazine and direct mail applications
These are some of the more prominent uses we have seen thus far, but we feel the opportunities are endless. Think beyond these applications and consider other innovative strategies such as:
- Shelf talkers in retailers from electronics vendors to grocery store chains
- In-store sales tools such as for table side sales in restaurant chains
- Product mounted devices for high-end products such as automobiles, boats and motorcycles
- Mini displays throughout a high end home highlighting features of rooms
This new realm of communication could revolutionize the advertising field by offering a user interface and experience never before available. And yet, this may still be the tip of the iceberg. What if we take these video screens and add functionality behind them beyond just playing stored content? Now consider the potential for hand-held devices capable of running applications that can be put into the hand of a consumer upon entering a large retailer. No longer do we need to require the consumer to take it upon themselves to download our apps, instead we give them the app in a low-cost mechanism they can use while in the retail facility to locate the products they desire and offer client reviews at their fingertips.
We don’t need the complexity of a full blown operating system in as much as we simply need an Internet connection to tap into a rich databases of information. Nor do we need to go through the rigors of application approval processes such as those required by Apple. These monitors already exist and our vendor sells such technology in various sizes and technical capabilities at a cost well below an iPad or similar device.
There are certainly countless other applications for this technology, such as instruction manuals, registration forms, and on and on. As this expands, the cost of materials will certainly continue to fall, giving rise to disposable applications that we are not even considering yet. However, the present technology is rechargeable, update able and expandable. We can readily change the functions of buttons connected to the hardware to perform multiple tasks and change the way the videos are played back and activated.
Humans are visual creatures. No matter what else we think of this hardware, we need to bear in mind that video itself is inherently more engaging to people that text or still images. It’s in our DNA to have a preference towards a visual presentation. When we add sound, we only increase the interaction and potential for the message. If we take it one step further and apply scent branding, we engage yet another sensory trigger. Consider how Tommy Bahama and Singapore Airlines used this effectively in extending their branding.
We have developed a concept for yet another use for the video hardware in the home environment that we would like to share with you, that has great potential too. We can discuss this further when the time is appropriate.