You notice a poster advertising a language course you are interested in. You are not going to note down the phone number; you do not even have a pen with you. Fortunately, the poster has a number of tiny tear-off tabs with the contact details of the language school. You tear off one and put it in your pocket. You make the call at your convenience. This is how a tear-off poster works. It is an incredibly practical advertising and communication medium.
Any form of communication that engages a recipient in interaction has an advantage over other forms. People would rather be encouraged to be active and to participate in something than to be simply informed.
And taking a piece of a notice or advertisement with them may be the first step. This piece is likely to result in further contact. Practitioners using tear-off posters in their work are well aware of this.
Many hands reach for tear-off posters. This is because of the interactive form of such posters.
Those who see them often tear off the contact details just in case. They just need to consider the message on the poster potentially interesting enough to them. They do not want to lose the opportunity to learn more from the phone number or e-mail address. Whether they actually make contact depends primarily on how much they need the service or product.
Another frequent scenario is that they collect interesting ads for a family member or a friend they know is looking for an apartment, a catering company, a dog groomer or drawing lessons at a professional school. At the stage of active searches, every relevant tear-off tag is invaluable. Whoever gives it to the person looking, moves up the social ladder.
The unusual form of such single-sided posters as tear-off posters is associated primarily with announcements. After all, this is the easiest way to provide the recipient with the most important data to contact the advertiser.
The perforated tags to be torn off usually contain phone numbers or address details. If an interested person takes one with them and has it at hand, in a pocket, they are highly likely to make contact.
But tear-off posters have also been used in much more complex communication campaigns. Here are two examples, one of an advertising campaign and one of a social awareness campaign.
Burt’s Bees, an American brand of natural organic cosmetics, put up a large-format poster at a busy sidewalk in one of the cities. Not somewhere high, as it is with billboards, but low enough for the passers-by to be able to reach it without problems.
The two-layered poster featured a sad face of a woman with peeling off, problematic, dry skin. The peeling effect was achieved through thousands of tear-off tags sticking from the poster, as if asking to be torn off. Each of them was also a three-dollar coupon to be used while purchasing the advertised product – a moisturizing facial cream.
Passers-by tore off the coupons enthusiastically, which was documented by the advertising agency with a camera set up opposite the poster. Played at fast forward, the process was later turned into an interesting video. Emerging from the layer of the tear-off tags, was a smooth smiling face of the same model and once again a picture of the jar with the cream.
Small tear-off posters were used in Polish cities by the agency running the Wyrzucone.pl. social awareness campaign. Each of the graphic posters presented a nursing cat or dog mum. Each tag was one puppy or kitten at the mother’s side. This was accompanied by the text: “Are you thinking about getting a dog/cat?”
With the cartoon form of the drawing and the powerful background (pink or sky-blue), the posters indeed attracted the eye. Passers-by reached for tags, but they did not find a phone number to a seller. Instead, they saw a warning that in moments like that, they were deciding about the fate of an animal and they should remember that their decision was irreversible.
The purpose of the campaign was to increase the number of informed, conscious and responsible decisions about animal adoption. It was in the middle of the summer when hasty human decisions resulted in many dogs and cats being thrown out of their homes.
Ten thousand or more tear-off posters put up in the streets by volunteers gave the campaign considerable publicity.
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