PSFK’s Trending Topic: Ads That Go Beyond Brand Awareness

Companies are creating billboards and packaging that are good for consumers and not just for companies.


This week we’ve been noticing a lot of “ads that aren’t” — advertisements that extend beyond just their marketing potential and more than just ads. From Chipotle’s new packaging that features original prose from famous authors to a poster that encourages blood donation and charge your phone, the products of these campaigns are useful for consumers in their own right.

See some of these campaigns below.

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Chipotle Includes Original Literature In Their Packaging

Chipotle Mexican Grill recently launched a new program called Cultivating Thought, an author series that features original written works of influential writers and personalities like Judd Apatow, Bill Hader, Sarah Silverman, Sheri Fink and Toni Morrison, Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Lewis, George Saunders, and Steve Pinker. The author series is curated by NY Times best-selling author Jonathan Safran Foer, who also happens to be a contributor. The writers’ works will be featured on Chipotle’s cups and bags to entertain customers and help them be more familiar with influential and creative personalities who are well-known today.

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Fast Food Tray Can Host Virtual Soccer Match

Brazilian fast food chain Giraffas designed a paper tray that integrates with a customer’s smartphone and allows them to play a live soccer game with the paper tray as the soccer field. The paper tray works with a free app that recognizes the tray as a soccer field and detects the movements of a small ball of paper that serves as the soccer ball. Players can play a soccer shoot-out game by flicking the paper ball at the virtual goalie displayed on the smartphone screen. The game was launched in time for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

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Beck’s Ads Plays Songs When Touched

Beck’s New Zealand created an interactive poster that plays contemporary music which people can download with their smart devices. The poster uses conductive ink that picks up electrical signals just like a smartphone or iPad, and then transmits a signal to an 80-watt speaker hidden behind the poster. Beck’s selected 10 artists from New Zealand to provide the tracks for the campaign to make it more local. Beck’s have also made a limited release of up to 10,000 pieces of the #PlayablePoster tracks available for free via a download link.

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Blood Donation Poster Lets People Charge Their Phones

Blood donation foundation Fundação Pró-Sangue and ad agency Publicis Sao Paulo created an interactive poster that encourages people to donate blood and at the same time lets them power up their smartphones through a vein-like built-in charger. The poster features an outstretched arm with a red cord hanging from the area on the arm where blood is usually drawn. Passersby can connect the red cord to their devices to charge them up. The poster includes a tag line saying, “If you need, we’re here for you. Why not return the favor? We need blood.”

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