Would you like a Matilda or BFG to go with your burger and fries? If you’re a young Kiwi, you just might get your wish. McDonald’s restaurants in New Zealand are ditching the Pokemon and Hello Kitty toys and filling their Happy Meal boxes with excerpts of Roald Dahl books instead, The Independent reports.
With titles like Fantabulous BFG, Amazing Matilda, and Lucky Charlie Bucket, these abridged versions of classic Dahl tales have been specially created for McDonald’s Happy Meal Readers program. The books also contain stickers and activities for kids to complete. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, McDonald’s plans to hand out 800,000 booklets over the course of six weeks.
Jo Mitchell, director of marketing at McDonald’s New Zealand, says the global reading program is designed to inspire more children to take an interest in reading. Plus, the nostalgia surrounding Dahl’s books appeals to parents, too. “The Roald Dahl characters are ones that many parents will have enjoyed growing up, and it’s great to play a part in introducing them to a new generation,” Mitchell told The Independent.
This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has paired books with children’s meals, though. The Happy Meal Readers program has given away about 450 million books since it launched in 2001. Sweden was the first country to implement the program, and McDonald’s outlets in New Zealand have been participating for about a decade. A similar program is ongoing in Malaysia, where children can choose between a toy or a book by English author Cressida Cowell (the author of How to Train Your Dragon).
Last year, McDonald’s announced it planned to expand the Readers program to more than 100 markets by 2019.
It was the end of 2017, and there were a lot of rumblings about the resurgence of print books.
“Books have always had a fetishistic quality to them, with their dusty secretiveness,” wrote Alex Preston in The Guardian in December that year. “Now, though, it feels like we’re living through a special moment in the history of book design and beautiful books are everywhere.”
He cited several examples of that year’s new releases, including George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo and Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads, with its cover inspired by mosaic from the Imam mosque at Isfahan. Even the classics are getting makeovers, like the stunning Penguin Hardcover Classics reissue of the works of F Scott Fitzgerald, or its clothbound editions of Austen, Brontë and Dickens.
“It’s hard to know whether to read these books or caress them,” he wrote.
Apparently, we are doing both, if books sales figures are any indication.
“In the UK,” writes Natasha Frost in Quartz, “Nielsen BookScan recorded year-on-year book sale growth of 22 million pounds ($28 million). It’s likely that 2018 will top 2016’s total sales of 1.59 billion pounds, too, with booksellers on both sides of the Atlantic noting an anecdotal uptick in sales and browsing customers.”
As Frost notes, this bodes well for UK booksellers, and the same it seen here in the U.S. Indies, where the number of indie bookstores has grown since 2009, and sales of physical books are up for the past 5 straight years.
“We’re buying books, and we’re favoring the kind you can borrow, lend, or drop in the bath: In 2017, print book sales were up 10.8% from four years earlier,” Frost writes. “Between 2016 and 2017, however, e-book sales actually dropped 10 percent. In October , book sales were at $699 million, up by $50 million from a year earlier.”
It’s more proof that nothing beats a real book when it’s time to curl up and relax … and the experience is not nearly as satisfying on a digital screen.
“There’s nothing like the smell of old books or the crack of a new one’s spine,” wrote Abigail Wise in Real Simple. “Plus, you’ll never run low on battery.”
Maybe it’s time to get yourself to one of those great new indie shops, or reactivate that library card and bring home a big stack. There’s nothing like going deep into a real book to help you relax, comprehend and remember.
This year has been, much to everyone’s surprise, a blockbuster for the publishing industry. Despite the relentless news cycle, readers have bought books in droves. Hardcover sales are up, and unit sales at independent bookstores have risen 5 percent. Multiple titles — Bob Woodward’s “Fear,” Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s “The President Is Missing” and Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” — have passed the million-copy mark, while there is also a surprisingly strong appetite for literary fiction.
But what should be good news for publishers, agents and authors has created headaches during the crucial holiday sales season, as printing presses struggle to keep up with a surge in demand, creating a backlog that has led to stock shortages of popular titles.
The industrywide paper jam has been building for months — a result of shrinking and consolidation among printing companies, the collapse of one of the major printers this summer, global paper shortages and a tightening job market that’s made it difficult for printers to hire additional seasonal workers. But it has become increasingly acute and visible at the industry’s peak sales season, when consumers are shopping for must-read titles to give as gifts, and finding that Amazon’s virtual shelves are bare.
Retail is alive and kicking! According to “Debunking the Apocalypse”, a 2017 report released by IHL Group, retailers were opening 4,080 more stores in 2017 than they were closing, and planned to open over 5,500 more in 2018. So, it’s time to start thinking about your retail clients.
Neenah is addressing the uprising with CLASSIC® Retail Revolution. Right from the start, this book’s multi-layered waterfall effect of overlapping sections encourages you to open and interact!
This promotion, designed by Dallas-based Matchbox Studios is filled with industry research data, retail marketing samples, and beautiful combinations of paper, design and printing. This high-energy, highly tactile book is a must-have design inspiration.
The 10 x 12 red Wire-o bound book focuses on four imagineered brands in the growing health and wellness market: 1) Knetics Athleisure & Sportswear, 2) Pack Men’s Apothecary & Skincare, 3) Desert Mothers Spa, and 4) Odyssey Food Subscription Service. This tool is designed to provide ideas on how to: Get customers in the door, engage and excite customers, spread the word, and build a following.
Get customers in the door: An oversized, visually dynamic postcard and a gift card in a die-cut carrier draw customers in — 44% of people say a gift card has sent them into a store they otherwise wouldn’t have visited.
When you look more closely, the Knetics brand is all about energy and movement and uses color to make an impact. Imperial Red is the star of this identity, and it appears here in three different textures, Stipple, Smooth, and Techweave. The hangtag embodies movement with grommeted combination of CLASSIC® Techweave, Imperial Red, CLASSIC CREST®, Windsor Blue, and CLASSIC® Linen, Chambray.
How to engage and excite customers: Research shows 70% of purchase decisions are made in-store. What drives those decisions? Packaging can be credited for 30% them.
When you’re marketing to men, you’re also marketing to the women who buy for them. Here we see the Pack brand, a men’s skincare line features on-trend shades of gray and an exfoliant product cleverly boxed in CLASSIC® Stipple to offer a textural description of its contents.
How to spread the word: Unique experiences and VIP treatment matters according to 66% of today’s consumers. This spa, Desert Mothers Hot Springs uses an oversized mailing to invite customers to a unique experience – oversized envelopes are reported to have the greatest household response rates.
This geometric, accordion-fold brochure uses dramatic diagonals, patterns, colors and images with the warm color and texture of CLASSIC CREST® Classic Natural White to invoke the essence of this event’s natural surroundings.
How to build a following: Odyssey is in the currently trending business of food subscriptions. In this evolving, highly competitive retail market the brands that succeed will be those that create an extraordinary customer experience. Standing out, and delivering on a brand’s promise, are key to securing and building a loyal following.
52% of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from an online merchant that delivers premium packaging. The pairing of CLASSIC® Linen, lifestyle photography, blind embossing and raised UV gloss create an elegant brand presentation that customers will want to keep.
Matchbox Design’s Principal/Creative Director, Liz Burnett said, “What we hoped to communicate in this piece is that a paper’s texture and color has the power of persuasion. CLASSIC: Retail Revolution shows how much more memorable printed collateral can be with the right combination of design and paper.”
As Steve Olenski writes in Forbes, “ U.S. advertisers spend $167 per person on direct mail to earn $2,095 worth of goods sold. That’s a 1,300% return on their investment. The response rate to direct mail pieces is much higher at 3.7% compared to 2% for mobile, 1% for email, 1% for social media, and 0.2% for internet display.”
Advertisers aren’t stupid. And marketers are under increasing pressure to prove their worth. They are realizing that even in this digital-heavy age, consumers like print marketing like coupons, for example.
“In fact, according to a recent study, 93% of people said they’ll use coupons from the mail in 2018,” Olenski writes. “This is up five percentage points compared to 88% in 2017. Although consumers rely on their smartphones, there is still a pleasant ‘tactile experience’ from touching and using physical coupons.”
It’s not just coupons; millennial consumers reportedly prefer receiving direct mail over email marketing. All the cool kids are doing it. Of course, they are the ultimate omnichannel consumer, so a hybrid strategy that transitions the reader from printed direct mail to an online interaction can be powerful.
“Use logos, visuals, charts, and targeted content to make direct mail a leisure activity,” he suggests. “It may be beneficial to use a geo-location strategy to encourage a call to action to visit a local storefront. Lastly, research the demographics in your area to align your messaging and visuals with your audience’s preferences and interests.”
Rethink your own marketing tactics and take an honest look at where direct mail might make a big impact. So here’s to our old and still very powerful friend, traditional printed direct mail.
The life cycle of recycled paper from recycling bin to final product
Most consumers are unaware of the steps and parties involved in the process of transforming paper recovered from recycling bins into final products.
As a manufacturer of commercial papers with up to 100 per cent recycled content, Rolland sees waste paper as a valuable resource. By offering sustainable paper products and helping to transform paper from recycling bins into new products, Rolland allows its customers to reduce their environmental impact and contribute to a circular economy.
The graphic below illustrates the journey of post-consumer recycled paper, from recycling bin to final product [ click to enlarge ]:
Recycling Bin Paper is collected from recycling bins at national and regional levels and transported to Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs)
Sorting Centers MRFs receive, separate and prepare recyclable materials
Recyclable Paper Bales Recyclable paper materials are compacted into large rectangular bales
Sustana Fibers Facility Recyclable paper materials are transported to Sustana’s recycled fibers facility
Pulping, Screening & Washing Recyclable paper is blended in a pulping machine with water into a coarse pulp. Fibers are screened & washed to remove solid impurities and ink particles
Post-Consumer Recycled Fibers Fibers are thickened by dewatering, cut into sheets and baled
Rolland Paper Mill Fiber bales are transported to Rolland’s Paper Mill
Paper Machine Fibers are mixed with water, refined, screened, then processed using Rolland’s equipment, dried and formed into large rolls of paper
Converting Rolls of recycled paper are transported to Rolland’s converting center and cut into sheets
Final Products Sheets of post-consumer recycled paper are transported to end-users and turned into final products
A look into the mind of the Gen Z-er…
MNI Targeted Media, a division of Meredith Corp., revealed today the preliminary findings of an online survey of 2,500 students aimed at examining the interests, spending preferences, and consumption habits of Gen-Z—that is, those born between 1995 and 2012—which the survey suggests will represent a massive chunk of spending power in the U.S. by 2020.
Among the survey’s more intriguing findings:
90 percent of Gen Z-ers rely on media to stay in touch with what is happening in the world.
60 percent prefer to shop in stores over online, but 75 percent use their phones while shopping to price check or seek recommendations.
50 percent agree that knowing a brand is “socially conscious” influences their purchasing decisions.
The average Gen Z-er spends one hour each week reading magazines.
61 percent believe their generation would benefit from “unplugging more.”
If you are considering “going greener,” reduce your environmental footprint with Rolland EnviroPrint papers. They are made with 100% Post Consumer Waste, and the manufacturing process is powered by Biogas Energy.
Biogas comes from decomposing landfill waste that’s been captured to prevent its release into the air. It is transported by pipeline to Rolland and used as thermal energy to produce paper instead of using traditional combustible fuels. Not only is biogas a renewable energy, it reduces their CO2 emissions by 70,000 tons, or 23,400 compact cars, annually.
Learn more about Biogas Energy:
BOND is proud to offer the Rolland EnviroPrintline of papers.