Unibind launches 'talking' print ads

Unibind, the Horsham-based binding specialist, is targeting new markets with a "talking pages" advertising product for print.

The firm’s StraightTalking technology comprises an ultra-slim microchip and speaker inserted into a standard printed advert. It will cost from 30p per unit for long-run magazines and up to 55p for runs of less than 10,000 copies.

Unibind sources the microchips from a Chinese supplier but carries out the rest of the work in the UK. Jobs will be delivered within 45 days from receipt of artwork and audio files.

The microchip is embedded in an A3 sheet of paper, which is folded in half and glued around the edges, and powered by batteries similar to those found in watches.

Jason Pyne, head of global marketing for Unibind Digital, said he had been focused on finding new ways to "save print advertising" in the face of increased digital spend.

He said the audio quality of microchips used in talking greetings cards in the past would not have been good enough for print advertising, but those he had identified in China were suitable.

Pyne, who joined Unibind from Archant Media and was previously a director of KOS Media, said the first reaction of potential customers had been "I can’t believe this hasn’t been done before".

However, one source told PrintWeek that this sort of technology has already been used regularly in the United States, and occasionally in the UK. In addition, advertisers have also used interactive technology such as QR codes to communicate their messages.

For example, Reporters Without Borders, the advocacy group for a free press, turned last year to Publicis Belgium to create an advert featuring images of state leaders including Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Readers scanned a QR code with their iPhone, then placed the phone over the leader’s mouth, which started talking but used the voice of a journalist discussing media censorship.

Pyne said StraightTalking had advantages over such interactive adverts because it was bound within the magazine and readers would not need any accessories to access its content.


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