Some can carry a tune, while others leap off the page in three-dimensional splendor. Advertisements in magazines, which not long ago relied on persuasive words and pictures alone, are now using expensive extras to sell their wares. Many perfume companies and cosmetics firms routinely include samples of scent, eye shadow and blusher in their ads. And other U.S. firms, employing techniques that have not yet reached Canadian markets, have chosen a high-tech approach to print ads. An Absolut Vodka ad, which ran in the Nov. 30 New York magazine, serenaded readers with a tinny medley of Christmas tunes—produced by a musical microchip. Declared John Caldwell, a spokesman for the Magazine Publishers of America, which represents 800 consumer magazines: “Can you imagine being on an airplane when 30 people all open their copies of these magazines?”
According to some industry members, the $1.3-million Absolut campaign, using microchips costing almost $1 each, underscores the new competitiveness of print advertising. And ad executives say such ads offer clients a dramatic presentation for approximately the same cost as a routine television spot. Jerry Della Femina, chairman of the Della Femina Travisano & Partners agency in New York, said that his firm created a magazine ad for Rolls Royce last year that featured a scent strip saturated with the fragrance of the cars’ leather upholstery. He said that the $130,000 cam-
paign generated more than $1 million worth of free publicity in news coverage. Declared Della Femina: “Those ads offer one way of breaking out of the clutter.”
To that end, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., a branch of the Japanese car manufacturer, recently commissioned a $1.3-million campaign to provide a unique view of its Corolla model. Readers of recent issues of Time, People and Cosmopolitan could fold the ad into the shape of small binoculars to see a picture of the car in 3-D. A Hennessy cognac ad in this week’s Time features a pop-out depiction of a liquor bottle emerging from a Christmas stocking. And in a similar effort, a four-page insert for Johnnie Walker Black Label scotch whisky in December issues of Sports Illustrated and The New Yorker includes peel-off labels and the suggestion that they be stuck in obvious places as gift reminders.
The search for innovation will not stop with musical vodka ads, according to the chairman of the Los Angeles firm that produced the pop-up for the $1.8million Hennessy campaign. Indeed, Waldo Hunt of Intervisual Communications Inc. reported that an ad featuring a pop-out Christmas tree, which not only plays carols but also lights up, will be offered to advertisers next year. For magazine readers, the trend to novelty ads promises to convert a quiet pastime into a trip through a noisy marketplace.
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