Chevrolet Ad Blurs Line Between Print and Digital Advertising

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Anyone who says print marketing is dead simply isn’t paying attention to the numbers, as business community website Customer Think reminded readers April 23. Around 67% of Americans prefer to actually hold promotional materials and direct mail notices in their hands, according to research done by Chief Marketer; that’s on top of findings from Marketing Sherpa that consumers trust print more than any digital source.


Linking a tactile experience to a brand can drive up sales, and experts suggest that businesses can see even more conversions by integrating print communications and digital ones.

Most of the time, an integrated campaign attempts to use print ads to direct viewers to digital content, or vice versa. But a Chevrolet ad in this month’s editions of Esquire and Popular Mechanics went a bit further: actually embedding digital video in a print ad.

“We had these awesome digital films that we created for the Colorado [truck model] launch and we thought, why not … put video in print,” Jill Mida, manager of Chevrolet truck advertising, told Advertising Age regarding the campaign.

Around 10,000 subscribers for each magazine received copies that had an embedded player which, when they flipped the page to the ad, began playing a video.

Only readers deemed likely to actually be interested in purchasing the truck were targeted. Mida shared that they “leveraged” all the consumer data Hearst — the owner of both magazines — had in order to choose the 20,000 that ended up seeing the ad.

Of course, it’s unlikely the digital-in-print model will become widespread, at least in the near future, and old-fashioned printing services aren’t on the edge of obsolescence just yet. While Mida declined to put an actual figure on the ad’s cost, she told Ad Age that “the unit is obviously expensive.”

“As inboxes become overloaded and overlooked, email marketing has become less effective,” explained Howard Sturm, CEO of Apple Visual Graphics. “Meanwhile, direct mail has started to regain a foothold where it had previously been retreating. The relative scarcity of print marketing allows it to command more attention than does the ubiquity of email.”

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