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Is the Old-Fashioned Flyer Doing a Steven Bradbury?

February 26, 2018

Is the Old-Fashioned Flyer Doing a Steven Bradbury?

Two mornings in a row, I have been handed direct advertising materials at Richmond station.  One for Uber Eats and another for Pet Circle; both online brands that are reverting to old-fashioned tactics to speak with their market. It’s made me think, the printed flyer has been sitting back, watching what consumers do, and now it is back to overtake the empty promises from its fast, flashy and brash EDM cousin.

It’s no wonder brands are returning their focus to physically putting a brand message in our hands.  We hear the evidence every time we speak with consumers:

  • Consumers give brands email addresses they never check: Think about the number of email addresses you have had over the past 20 years. Work, personal, the random Gmail you needed to set up to access Google Docs. Consumers use these old, dormant email addresses to sign up to brands mandatory online portals – but this means the EDM communication goes unseen, unopened, never to have impact. (Brands trying to contact me now are sending messages to a Hotmail account set up by a 22-year old me with a password I forgot a lifetime ago). 
  • EDM volume and frequency has lost its impact: You can hear the mantra of those in charge of EDM distribution; “It’s a numbers game!”. But with everyone beating to the same drum, our inboxes are cluttered, we don’t see or delete messages, and we are immune to the messages. (Seriously, ISHKA promotes its “50% off for 2 days only” sale every morning at 9am).  And if we do skim the subject line with the best intentions of going back and reading later – in reality this never happens.

All this combined with the decrease in watching TV in real-time (and therefore sitting through the ads), our abilities to hone in to online content we are searching and ignore the ads on the edges of our screens, and the belated pop up ads referencing items we have searched in the past (popping up for months after we have actually purchased and moved on), gives further support to the likely triumph of the printed and hand delivered channel.

Bringing it back to yesterday morning, with my flyer in hand, my colleagues and I talked about Pet Circle. Had we heard of it, what would the service be like? … and the neat perforated design led me to slip the flyer into my wallet and think about passing it on to a friend who is the proud new parent of a fur-baby.  If I had seen a pop-up ad on the train as I was scrolling Twitter, there is absolutely no way I would have ever thought about this brand, let alone find myself in a conversation about and contemplating advocacy.

I am excited about the reinvention of the printed flyer and see what it has in store for both brands and consumers; particularly in a world where there is pressure to reuse/recycle paper and lean marketing budgets don’t give permission for full colour, gloss stock print runs.

(I wrote this blog on the train this morning and wondered what brand would take up the opportunity to talk to me this morning as I left the station… but no one was there! Clever little flyer – it knows I don’t want to be bombarded. Instead I am left in ever anticipation about when they’ll return!)

Written by Megan.

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