Confronting the mayhem in Media and Marketing

Increase Newspaper Circulation with Insect Repellant Ink

Dengue fever is a big problem in Sri Lanka. So big that over 30,000 people were infected by the mosquito borne illness in 2013 alone. For this year’s World Health Day, Leo Burnett teamed up with the Mawbima newspaper to increase public health awareness around the disease. Mawbima published both the morning and evening editions of the newspaper with ink that was infused with citronella, a natural mosquito repellent.

In another case of making good by doing good, Mawbima saw a 30% increase in sales that day with the morning edition selling out by 10 AM.

photo: James Jordan

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The Real-World Eyedropper

Anyone who has ever used Adobe’s Creative Suite has used the eyedropper tool. Choose the tool and click on a object to measure its color value. The Scribbler is a concept to apply that same concept to real objects which intends to seek funding through Kickstarter. The pen uses a scanner to identify the RGB color value of the object and then matches the color using a specific combination of cyan, yellow, magenta, black and white inks. According to the specs, the Scribbler can simulate 16 million colors and remember 100,000 scanned objects. The company also intends to ship the Scribbler in a stylus version.

photo: Scribbler

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What’s the Price

A few projects have made me think about pricing strategies of late which lead me to think about the way PSPs price their wares. Having been in over a 150 print shops, I have seen many methods from the ‘My gut tells me $X’ to very sophisticated calculations churned out of a print management system (MIS). Most print management systems use the cost plus method method to calculate price. This method adds up the costs, as defined by the PSP, for all materials and processes involved in producing the job in question and adds a markup percentage to ensure profitability based on those variables. What about jobs that are sold over the Internet?


Print eCommerce systems typically utilize a price list that is manually entered and edited by the PSP. But other factors come into play when multiple, standardized products are displayed in a storefront. A simple change in the way the price is formatted can affect purchasing decisions (consumers prefer 1499 to $1,499.00). The way products are displayed in juxtaposition to other similar or different products can also affect behavior. For other pricing idiosyncrasies, check out this post at Help Scout.

Fortunately, the Internet is perhaps the greatest consumer research tool as well. Setting up A/B tests, where one user(s) gets choice A and the other user(s) get choice B, will allow you to quickly see what is working with your audience.

photo: Paul Brigham

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