Fanta – One of the world’s first edible print ads

Who would have guessed that one day we would produce an edible print ad? Digital media has been chewing up traditional media for a while, but now you can actually eat print advertising. For decades, brands and particularly FMCG brands have been using print media to tell consumers that their product tastes better than any other on the market. However, the problem was that there was never any way of proving this to consumers through print media. Instead, print was used to raise awareness and position the product in the mind of the target audience while in-store promotions and sampling techniques were used to get consumers to taste the product.

That was all well and good, but that was the past.  If you didn’t believe in traditional media before today, then this example might just change your mind….Fanta have literally given us a taste of the future and have introduced a game changer in the area of print media by creating “The World’s First Tasteable Print Ad” – an edible print ad to introduce their new flavour.

The advert starts by using strong copywriting to paint a picture of what will be experienced when one consumes the product – “like a burst of sunshine”, “surprising and juicy” – all pretty standard. But then with a massive twist, the final line takes this advert to a level far beyond any other print advert – “Just tear off a piece of this page, pop it in your mouth & enjoy a Fanta by tasting this ad!” Yes, you can taste it right now, and no, you do not need to drink it from a bottle. While it may seem like something out of a Willy Wonka marketing campaign, it’s completely legitimate.

The best thing about this ad in my opinion is that every single consumer who sees this ad has the ability to experience the taste of the product. I don’t think any other marketing channel (excluding sampling) could possibly give you this much power in terms of enabling the consumer to test the product on such a large scale.

Premium magazines carry perfume samples, novelty birthday cards carry the voice of Daniel O’Donnell – there’s nothing new about this, so of course the next progressive step would be to provide consumers with the opportunity to experience the taste of a product through print media. When you think about it like this, it’s a wonder that it took food and drink brands so long to tap into this area.

The print ad was created by OgilvyOne in Dubai for citrus-flavoured Fanta. While the promo video for the campaign claims that this is “The World’s First Edible Print Ad”, Volkswagen actually earned this accolade about 2 years ago with its “Eat The Road” campaign. This edible ad by Volkswagen was created by Ogilvy in Cape Town so it seems strange that OgilvyOne are claiming the Fanta ad to be the first edible one.

The sceptics will question the costs associated with implementing more campaigns like this and of course they have reason to. Inserts add additional costs as it is, not to mind adding in the cost of each plastic sleeve used to protect the edible ad. That said, the PR value of this stunt alone was probably worth it. Ultimately, this is the type of marketing that is considered worthy of being covered by the press. This coverage leads to consumers craving the opportunity of being able to eat a print ad; but since the costs of implementing this is probably very high, it is unlikely to appear in any more than a few publications. For this reason, most people will have to settle for drinking the product from a bottle, which is what Fanta wants after all!

But what’s next? Edible billboards or bus shelters made from chocolate perhaps?

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