Fake Newspaper Advertisements
Drive Business to Your Door — Make More Booty!
For many years we’ve made private deals with businesses around the world to supply them with extremely low-cost advertising gimmicks. The best advertising approach we’ve ever found for many types of businesses and corporations involves giving customers something they think is “cool”, and then making sure they remember where they got it.
To that end we’ve made up hundreds of whacky fake news stories that have never appeared on our website; we print those out en masse using our “bulk” size format, by placing an eye-grabbing little ad on the backs of those sheets, then the business distributes them in any manner they please.
Restaurants, corner stores, bowling alleys, hardware stores, for instance, leave stacks of them near the register so patrons can take two or five as they pay and leave. Corporations might send them out with other literature or flyers. Companies have even air-dropped them over outdoor events. Some companies have employed services to do mass “door hanger” distributions in their local areas. Businesses have paid employees to place them on every public bulletin board in town. We’ve seen businesspeople employ street-people to hand them out on downtown street corners. They’ve been thrown off floats in parades, left in stacks at phone booths, slipped under windshield-wipers on cars in parking lots — you name it.
The trick is simple: Give folks something they think is fun or otherwise useful, and they’ll hang onto it and pass it around. And around. And around. One local restaurant has gone through about 19,000 of these clips as of early 2008; they routinely receive calls for reservations from all over the country, coast to coast, because their clipping found its way to a friend or relative of the original recipient 1500 miles away in another state, and that friend or relative, without checking the area code of the number in the advertisement on the back, figured that establishment would be a great place to eat.
What other type of advertising can you create that “self-promotes”? Have you ever produced an advertisement that gets mailed and photocopied and mailed again around the world at no expense to you? No. It doesn’t happen. Most people are loathe to even glance at most advertisements and they go instantly into the trash, yet people actually save these in scrapbooks. It just doesn’t get any better.
These clippings, if the story’s good, literally take on a life of their own. We don’t believe there is a single other more affordable advertising ploy available in the world today. This actually works. It’s directly responsible for more than quadrupling our own sales in our home state in one year. And it’s one of the very few forms of advertising that we’ve found to be affordable on a “pay as you go” kind of basis — buy and distribute 500 per month, or 100,000. It’s up to you as you can afford it.
And forget about all of the above — this is FUN. If your story is good, you can track references to it through local news media and word of mouth as far as your clippings reach. Below is a classic example of the type of article you might employ. As a result of variations of this article, Clarence Sightings are rampant in our local area. Every animal control office in the region has this posted to their bulletin boards. Even though Clarence doesn’t exist and never has, EVERYONE remembers when it happened and will tell the tale of the fateful day to others with faux authority. Here’s the actual text of the clipping below:
“City officials confirmed today that a young black bear which had found its way into a suburban area some time ago, and which had slipped through the dragnet when cornered by law enforcement and animal control officials near 127th and 14th ave. SW, is still in the area. The animal was originally spotted “just wandering around looking at things,” an animal control executive commented at the time. Apparently the bear was observed shaking locked doors in the area, and using his considerable weight to try to push the doors open at the “Wild Horse Bar and Grill”.
“It’s highly unusual for a bear to make it all the way into inhabited areas like this,” said another animal control employee. “Of course there are bears in the hills outside of town, but I can’t see this animal making it all the way over here unnoticed. Someone would have called it in.”
No zoo in the area reported any missing animals then or now, and animal control personnel suggested that the bear appeared to have been living in the wild, as opposed to having come from a zoo. The bear appeared to be about three years old.
“We don’t know why this bear continues to hang around,” said a spokesperson for the Mayor’s office. “But it seems to be healthy, and it appears to have established a way of life for itself right here by raiding garbage cans and traveling from one area to another through a warren of trails and tunnels it has created in vacant lots.”
One woman, unaware of the bear’s presence, came out of the Wild Horse Grill and came almost face to face with the bear. Said Arlene Richardson, “It took a long time for it to register. I thought at first I was seeing things. Then I thought it was someone in a bear costume. Then the police started yelling at me to go back inside, and I realized it was really there. I don’t know why I did it. I suppose I panicked. But I just started running.” And the bear followed—at least as far as a nearby bank, where officers jumped in between Ms. Richardson and her pursuer, and turned the animal back.
Shortly after that, police set up a perimeter while animal control distracted the animal long enough for a zoo veterinarian to attempt to dart it. But all attempts were unsuccessful.
Locals have nick-named the critter “Clarence”. “So far,” says animal control, “Clarence hasn’t eaten any children, and that’s a good thing.” Though the spokesperson did admit that countless domestic dogs and cats have “gone missing” since Clarence has been in the area.
Anyone spotting the bear area should call Animal Control immediately.”
(Image highly compressed for web view to illustrate basic format)
The front of the clipping is your “hook”. Provide your customers and hope-to-be customers with something useful, fun, entertaining; something they can use to “get” their friend, relative, co-worker, etc. If you provide something people can use, and derive value from, even if it’s only five seconds of chortling from the co-worker in the adjacent cubicle, people will hang onto it and pass it around. Every time your news clipping gets passed to someone new, it’s like getting another “hit” on your company website. We see our clips get mailed around the country — even around the world. The bear theme has worked particularly well for over a decade. But you can use any of our pre-written articles, or make up you own from scratch, or mix the two together. We did one promotion for a new high-rise apartment building which featured the impending completion of a 3/4 scale Eiffel Tower clone nearby. The articles weren’t just occasionally taken by passersby, they became a hot commodity, everyone wanting to be the first to find and visit the new Eiffel Tower. Even the building’s staff, who weren’t privy to the owner’s promotion, spent countless lunch hours looking for the structure. The maintenance crews spent hours on the roof of the hi-rise with binoculars, watching for the first signs of the Eiffel Tower to begin to rise above the city’s skyline. One by one everyone realized it was all a gag, but it took months in some cases, and the building enjoyed a flurry of new tenants due to the thousands of little clippings being passed around the region — people had to physically come into the building’s office to get free copies of the Eiffel Tower article so they could go trick their co-workers and howl as they spent their lunch hours looking for the infernal Eiffel Tower.
(Image highly compressed for web view to illustrate basic layout)
What’s the difference between our regular “small” size fake news clips, and this “bulk” size?
The regular small size pocket clipping may feature a photograph-type image, while the bulk clippings may only feature a line-art image. Even then, grayscale values are of fairly low quality. Pure text is best.
The small-size pocket clips are edged along the top; bulk clippings are cut straight across the top.
The small-size clips are hand-torn along both sides and bottom; bulk clippings are cut straight and clean, by the ream.
The small-size clippings may incorporate an unlimited number of colors; the bulk clips, only two — black for all regular text on the front and back, and one other color on the back for the client’s advertising message (be it text, or logo, or a combination).
The small clips feature a field called “image description”. The same field exists for the bulk clips, but it is called “article sub-head”, since there is normally no image, per se, to describe.
The print quality of the regular “small” clippings is first-class, high rez, even for newsprint. The bulk clips are printed differently, using high-speed drum equipment.
The regular small clippings cost X amount, depending on the quantity ordered. The bulk clips cost a tiny fraction of that and so are affordable by the thousands, instead of being affordable only by the dozens.
Will you receive exactly the number of sheets you order? No. You’ll receive more. A lot of sheets are wasted in the initial setup of your project. From the instant we hit the “run” button until we can reach over and hit the “stop” button, somewhere between 20 and 40 copies are printed. This can significantly cut into the number of usable prints in your ream, so we print many extras to be sure you get more than you pay for.
Our small-size clips are designed to work as gags for individuals, families, groups of friends and co-workers. Our bulk clips are designed to saturate an entire region of a city or even a county, with fun, humorous little “keepsakes” that will be read over and over for weeks, months and years, and which also happen to have YOUR advertising on the back. Think of these as though they were silent little robots which, once turned loose and set in motion, travel far and wide, ceaselessly and tirelessly distributing YOUR advertising across your community, your city, your county, state, country, and even around the world. Decades from now some percentage of your clippings will still be found in kitchen drawers and scrapbooks and on bulletin boards and, if the story’s good, they’ll still be talked about over Thanksgiving dinner tables and at family get-togethers.
We’re still in the process of setting up the shopping cart script for this product — we expect to have it available by about June 12th (2008). If you’re interested in giving your biz a little jump-start, you can begin composing your story now. Remember that this works a little like radio advertising (though better). Radio advertising doesn’t generally produce immediate, measurable results. It takes time, and it takes many, many mentions of your biz to get people to allow it to rise to the surface of their consciousness. You can order as few as 500 copies of our bulk clips, but we recommend starting with more like 3000, and then find creative ways to distribute them. They WILL work, assuming your story’s appealing, but it takes time and it takes saturation.
1:1 scan of bulk fake newspaper clipping, low compression
Above image pair: Upper (above): hi-rez line art original; Lower (above): lo-rez line art original
While photographs don’t reproduce well with this method
of super-high-speed printing, line art prints exceptionally
well onto newsprint, given a good original.
Below image pair: Upper (below): hi-rez line art printed; Lower (below): lo-rez line art printed
Would we outright refuse to print your photograph (as opposed to a line-art image)? No! We’ll print anything you submit. Just be aware of how much image quality will be lost using this particular method of extreme high-speed printing (roughly 640 pages/min). Below: An original photo layout, and below that an example of how that same image looks printed onto newsprint via this method:
Above, original image, never printed
Below, same image printed to newsprint & scanned at 96dpi
Your ad or message area measures 3.9 x 3.6 inches wide. It can hold an image, or text, or a combination of both. The default color for anything placed in this box is red. We’ll automatically resize whatever is submitted, to fit into this space. (red border is for illustration purposes and does not print).
Make up a story that will catch readers’ attention and compel them to pass the article around (you may use any of our pre-written fake newspaper articles)
Enter that story into the form below along with a byline, article headline, etc.
You may upload an image if you desire, to be printed above the main story, on the front of the sheet; the image should be either line-art, or a photograph, with line art being much preferred
You may then compose a text advertisement or other text message for the backs
You may also upload your logo or other simple line-art type image for the backs
Both the ad / message AND the image that are submitted for the backs will print in red