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When Print Becomes Social

Have you noticed how more and more brands are using social icons in their print ads these days?  In some cases, it’s just a Facebook or Twitter logo at the bottom of the page.  But there are some print ads out there, like the ones below, which leverage the social media motif/lexicon in a much bigger way.It was bound to happen sooner or later.  Burger King developed the “unfriend” button (and got a lot of press for it).  So it was about time someone developed the “love” button. The irony, of course, is that anyone could have done this.  Snickers doesn’t have a special brand association with “love”.  They just did it before anyone else.

Not only did Ford launch the all new Explorer via Facebook, they’ve continued to use the Facebook Q&A motif for the past several months.  Rather than tell people to “like” them on Facebook, they’ve integrated Facebook directly into their ad, creating a feeling of ongoing dialogue between real customers and the Ford brand.

Clorox, on the other hand, has decided to drive more attention to their Twitter page, by using #CloroxWipes every chance they get, calling out a number of Twitter users/Real Simple readers in the process.  It’s simple, it’s social and it reminds you again and again how to find Clorox Wipes on Twitter.

Toyota takes things one step further by posing a simple question.  “How would you use our technology to make a better world?”  From the outset, this ad is designed to engage, leading readers to Toyota’s highly entertaining, educational and interactive microsite.  This isn’t just print advertising using a social motif.  This is where print becomes social, passing the baton from one medium to the next, for a much deeper experience.  At the core of the campaign is an intriguing question. The brilliance of it is that it simultaneously advertises, engages and drives traffic to Toyota’s microsite, allowing people to share their thoughts while giving Toyota fresh ideas for future innovations.

So the next time someone tells you “print is dead”, you may want to show them these ads and let them know that print is very much alive and becoming more social every day.

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