Innovation in Traditional Places

With new apps and technologies being released every other day, brands don’t have to look far to find a new way to market their product. But where does that leave the more traditional channels like couponing and print? How are they keeping up? With their own form of innovation, of course!

Below are a few examples of brands and channels that have learned how to keep up and stand out in this changing advertising marketplace.

1. Couponing: Zealios Skin Care

Rather than just serving up your typical coupon, Zealios is letting consumers pull up a sun-activated coupon on their mobile device. If the device’s ambient light sensor detects sunshine, it will link to a 50% off digital coupon and sun safety tips.

2. Magazine Cover: Marie Claire & Guess

For Marie Claire’s denim issue, they worked with Guess to create a unique event for their readers. Consumers were able to “unzip” the cover of the magazine by pulling a perforated strip that looked like a zipper and revealing the magazine’s true cover surrounded by Guess logos. While it sounds simple, this distinctive experience drove high recall and engagement for the brand.

3. Catalog: Target

Target’s In a Snap mobile app works with the retailer’s fall print catalog and certain print ads to drive ecommerce sales. Once they’ve downloaded or opened the app, shoppers can hold their mobile device over a catalog page or print ad and be taken to that product’s page on They can then purchase the product without ever leaving the app.

By thinking out-of-the-box with traditional methods, brands are creating valuable, one-of-a-kind experiences that resonate with consumers.

With contributions by Rae Ann Fisch


Brad is an expert in private label and challenger brand food marketing for Barkley, an integrated marketing and advertising agency. He specializes in working with manufacturing-driven food companies that have aspirations to develop a consumer insight-led strategies to help drive innovation and growth.

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