Malaysian newspaper mesmerizes with 5D ad

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Samples of the Wonda Coffee ad by NST Malaysia showing the touch, sight and sound campaign. NST mailroom manager Ungku Ibrahim mentioned the scented newspaper samples from the smell campaign were confiscated by the Malaysian airport police for being "sprayed with coffee-smelling chemicals."

Ungku Ibrahim, one of the speakers who shared insights at the ANP Conference.

With everyone going digital these days, bold strategies are becoming the new norm for print.

While there's a prevailing belief that the printed broadsheet is near extinction, there's ample proof supporting the contrary.

During the recent 2014 Asean Newspaper Printers Conference held at the Makati Shangri-La, New Straits Times (NST) mailroom manager Ungku Azman bin Ungku Ibrahim shared how teamwork, innovation, creativity, and social media are the perfect tools to create value in advertising.

Ibrahim launched his brief talk with a cold, hard truth. "Broadsheet sheet sales are down like, probably 30% in Malaysia," he said, adding it's most likely the same way in other parts of the world.

Then, according to Ibrahim, Asahi came and sought NST's assistance with their January 2014 Malaysian launch of their new brand, Wonda Premium Coffee.

Asahi wanted marketing that was old school with an emphasis on novelty.

After much input and brainstorming, NST and Wonda launched one of the most successful campaigns in recent broadsheet history: the 5D ad.

The ad was unique for its approach of using the five human senses. The campaign spanned five days, with each day focusing on a particular sense.

It included a pull-up ad for touch, 3D printing for sight, audio ad for hearing, scented newspaper for smell, and a special discounted coupon for taste.

"That (5D campaign) was six months in the making. We had to strategize and plan accordingly. It took a lot of support from everyone, from the editorial, to production, to circulation, to marketing. It was a risk, but it paid off," Ibrahim said.

He also shared how time-consuming, labor-intensive, and expensive everything was.

And pay off it did. Not only did the company help Wonda Coffee secure its place as the second biggest-selling coffee brand in Malaysia, but it boosted the NST's sales too.

"We need to innovate,” Ibrahim said. “We need to listen to advertisers and to everyone in the organization. Even the most unlikely or unexpected person can come up with a good idea."

Ibrahim also tried to infect the audience with his resolve. "This industry is never going to die,” he announced. “It's still different from mobile news. It's a different feeling to hold newspapers. And, we bring the dependable kind of news.”

Remarkably, the 5D campaign eschewed Facebook fan pages and Twitter hashtagging. Other advertisers are now coming over to NST to help boost their business, which in turn boosts NST sales.

Another company, Tropicana, launched a similar 5D campaign in September with NST which yielded similar phenomenal results.

"Listening [to new ideas] helps, especially now that everything is changing. It will determine the future of print," the Malaysian mailroom manager said.


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