Rethinking ad space

Summary:Smart ads and smarter placement target readers.

Easy access to information has trained us to ignore anything not directly in front of us, sitting in the palm of our hand. So while some advertisements have become more obnoxious in a bid for attention, the most effective campaigns focus on placing information at the right place, at the right time. Two such campaigns are the Headline News Cup Sleeve and the Bibliotren.

In Dubai, ad agency Y&R Dubai created a campaign to increase customers for Gulf News, the UAE’s English daily newspaper, by targeting the customers of one of their other clients, Tim Hortons. Since newspaper reading and coffee drinking often go hand in hand, Y&R transformed the coffee cup sleeve into an advertising medium which they named the Headline News Cup Sleeve. A special printer pulls live time tweets from the Gulf News' Twitter account and prints each sleeve with the latest headline. The sleeve also includes a URL and QR code that connect customers to the full story.

In Catalonia, Spain, train passengers can read something other than ads for online education or medical testing. Posters in 10 train cars have been adapted into virtual libraries with the help of QR codes. The codes access the first chapter of 40 different books. Sponsored by Random House Mondadori and the Catalan Government Railways, the Bibliotren is part of Spain's National Reading Plan. The campaign promotes not only literacy but also Random House's library of ebooks.

Related on SmartPlanet:

Virtual store enables commuters in Seoul to multitask while waiting

Homeless vendors turn to QR code newspapers

Via: Design Taxi, The Pop-Up City

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Contributing Editor Sun Joo Kim is an architect and creative consultant based in Boston. Her projects include design and master planning of museums, public institutions, hospitals, and university buildings across the U.S. She holds a degree from Carnegie Mellon University and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. Follow he... Full Bio

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