Advertising is a tricky business. You almost certainly have to be creative enough to stand out, smart enough to always be ahead, and trendy enough to know what sells and what doesn’t. There’s one form of advertising that’s rarely seen in the Western countries but somehow has been proven to be a highly effective form of marketing in many Asian nations. That form of advertising is known as tissue advertising and simply put, it involves pocket tissue packs as the main and only physical component.
Most of us, if not all, know what a small tissues packet is like. In tissue advertising, these small, handheld tissue packets are turned into mobile, miniature-sized billboards that are not only highly visible to whoever’s holding them; they also become extremely personal. Using tissue packs is one of the most extraordinary and cost-effective forms of marketing this is. Tissue advertising may have originated in Japan, but there’s one country that’s been taking it all to the next level—Singapore.
Singapore is a country known for its cleanliness. Aside from having a virtually pollution-free atmosphere, you’ll find no signs of littering anywhere. That’s not to say that people won’t somehow find a need for tissues at some point. On the contrary, due to excessive amounts of tissue-pack marketing, Singaporeans continuously come up with creative ways of using tissues. In some way, it’s even become part of the culture altogether.
Singaporeans are notorious for the art of ‘chope’. The word is Singlish for something along the lines of “this seat is already taken.” In Singapore’s hawker centres, where food is served in open-air, food-court type places, you can easily spot tissue packs being used as chope. And while the average outsider might think that it’s a waste of time for marketers to be using materials that will end up as chope, locals say otherwise.
Although lines of tablespaces and seats are filled with tissue-packs, you’d have to realize that these do not go unnoticed. As a matter of fact, the market for tissue-packs in places like Singapore is close to non-existent because people almost always just get them for free. And people in Singapore actually use them—if not for blowing their noses or cleaning their faces, then they use tissue-packs for marking their territory amidst hawker centres and various other places.
In short, tissue advertising works. According to polls, people are more likely to look at and read the advertising on tissue-packs versus those that are on plain leaflets. It could be because of the fact that tissue-packs actually offer a use and a purpose instead of leaflets or fliers that just pile up and take up space with no other use. Leaflets are wasteful to say the least, and tissues offer just a little bit more.
If you were to put up advertising on a tissue-pack, not only will you get points for creativity; you’re also likely to get a second, third, and fourth look at your advertisement each time someone pulls out a tissue to use from the pack you’ve distributed.