A Japanese branding agency has increased newspaper readership with a campaign that prints the news on bottles of water.
This is part of a series of articles that looks at innovative campaigns that have been successfully repeated throughout the years and still offer some inspiration for companies in the media & publishing sector.
In an increasingly digital world, brands need to use ever-more creative methods to reach consumers. Avid Springwise readers may have come across the branding company using live bacteria to advertise soap or free luggage-wrapping to advertise a luggage brand. In 2014 a Japanese branding agency found a way to encourage young people to read more print news. The campaign proved so successful that it was carried out again in recent years to educate young people on important causes.
Market research found that although Japanese millennials do not like purchasing newspapers, they do like to buy bottles of water. Branding agency Dentsu teamed up with Mainichi Newspapers to encourage millennials to connect with print media through their water-drinking habits. Dentsu devised the ‘news bottle’ – a bottle of water with daily news stories printed directly onto its label. The bottles also include an augmented reality component, which enables readers to access Mainichi newspapers online via their smartphones. To reduce costs, space on the bottles was also sold to advertisers.
During the month-long experiment, the news bottles proved very popular, with a large increase in sales over the regular water bottle. The success prompted Dentsu to release ‘donations bottles’ with information on charitable causes, such as environmental protection of Mount Fiji and assisting orphans with HIV in Cambodia. Consumers chose the bottle with the cause they wish to support, and proceedings from the sale go directly to the specific cause. For those who don’t want to go out of their way and pick up a printed publication, or devote time to sit down and read one, the bottles offer an opportunity to catch up on the news during the daily commute, or while relaxing with a drink of water. What other innovative ways might there be to encourage print news?