With millions of products being shipped worldwide thanks to eCommerce, packaging has come a long way from the plain cardboard cartons to customized boxes, all in an attempt to promote brand awareness and brand loyalty.
In 2015, Amazon became the forerunner in advertising on shipping boxes when it used its boxes as an ad space for a brand that was unrelated to the product being delivered. The Universal Pictures “Minions” Campaign, the first-ever shipping box campaign, saw different characters being portrayed on different box sizes along with the date the movie was to be released. Also printed on the box was a unique Amazon URL that directed customers to a page that featured Minion-inspired products. The advertising was so engaging that fans ordered something from Amazon just so that they could receive the Minion delivery box.
Amazon also collaborated with Revlon in 2017 for the Revlon “The Love Project” Campaign. The cosmetic giant branded 10 million shipping boxes to promote their campaign, which was also tied to a social cause. The objectives in using on-box advertising according to the CEO of Revlon was to enhance brand equity, to learn a lot [about] how to partner with the best retailers online, and to monetize the effort.
So what can we learn from this? Packaging is not just a delivery box but an outdoor advertising opportunity that can increase sales, create a strong brand impression and build customer loyalty.
Benefits of on-box advertising
(1) On-box advertising doesn’t have to be related to the product being sold. Many customers have admitted that they care as much for the packaging box as they do for the contents inside, all thanks to social media and the Millennials. So rather than receive a drab plain box, consumers don’t mind a bit of creativity on the box; and it doesn’t have to be related to the product inside whatsoever.
(2) Unleash your creativity- think sustainability: You can get as creative as you want with not just the printed ad message but the usage of the box itself. Whiskas teamed with Amazon Advertising for the launch of the first on-box ad campaign in Australia. They designed their boxes in such a way that customers could transform them into a castle, office, or roller coaster for their cats’ enjoyment.
Another interesting campaign was run by Chevrolet to advertise the new Chevrolet Silverado. They advertised on 7.1 million cardboard Amazon home delivery boxes, making them the first to use this medium in the automotive industry. The boxes were printed with a graphic of the 2019 Silverado “breaking through” the box.
(3) On-box ads get noticed: It’s common to see shipping boxes waiting in plain sight in front of people’s doors and when they’re out for delivery, giving you a free-of-cost outdoor, mobile advertising opportunity that catches multiple eyeballs rather than just of the receiver.
(4) Virtual branding for free: Not only do the shipping boxes travel physically but also virtually as people share pictures online. This gives you the advantage to increase your online presence too without even trying.
Of course, there are risks too. The cost for a single brand to advertise can be quite expensive and people might ignore it altogether because it’s unexpected. They might even be put off by it. However, if done correctly, on-box advertising can be the innovative advertising space that takes your branding to newer audiences and increases brand awareness.
Tip: Make sure your campaign had depth for positive results as the box only comes secondary to the contents of the box.
** Lily Shanker, Editor, TourGenie, SIBIN Group