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Pocket-friendly alternative advertising ideas

Alternative media are delivering as much buzz.
By Rafael Santos |
<>He explains the advantage of a bus ad campaign: "If you compare the prices, a six-month bus ad campaign will cost P900,000 against P2.4 million for a comparable billboard campaign. This is a huge difference. The target audience is basically the same, but since a bus ad is mobile, potentially more people will get to see it than a billboard."

Placemat ads are a relatively new form of advertising wherein the advertiser pays to have its logos and advertising messages printed on placemats used by food establishments. A relatively cheap form of advertising, it aims to get its message across to its target audiences during the waiting time for diners to get served in restaurants.


The Antipolo City-based Placem\\\'ad Inc., which specializes in placemat ads, says the medium is a very cost-effective and localized way of advertising for startups. Mavic Relayson, its business development manager, explains: "The majority of our clients are suburban SMEs based in Antipolo that want to disseminate their messages in a more localized way. We target restaurants and food establishments where our clients have potential customers."



According to Relayson, a 2.8 inch x 2.4 inch placemat ad costs as low as P2,900 inclusive of full-color printing for 10,000 pieces. The company does the design as well as the logo and brand executions for clients that don\\\'t have them yet, then handles the distribution of the placemats to the preselected food establishments.


"Our services can be beneficial to startups and established businesses alike," says Relayson. "Right now, we are serving BPI Family Bank, Reyes Barbecue, and Aqua Polo, among others. We believe that placemat ads are both cheaper and more effective than flyers because they are more targeted, more focused. A lot of times, people just throw flyers away without reading them. In contrast, placemats are necessities in restaurants. People often have no choice but to look at them."


The third alternative advertising model now in use is short message service (SMS) advertising, and among the companies that offer it is the local Web solutions firm Technominds Inc. The company has come up with TextCast, an SMS-based advertising service that enables advertisers to send ads to multiple consumers through text messages.



Alvin Tan, president and CEO of Technominds, says that in the Philippines, text advertising is one of the simplest ways of getting your message across.  He explains: "Almost all people in the country have mobile phones, and they use it for most of the day. It\\\'s a huge market, and because SMS usage is universal, it cuts across so many demographic markets."


He says that for a minimum credit purchase of P1,000 of SMS advertising, Technominds will send 1,250 text messages to the cellular phones of individuals listed in the consumer database provided by the advertiser. For an additional fee, Technominds plans to roll out next year a master list of consumer targets that businesses can reach with their advertising messages.


"At the moment, we are targeting big companies for this service," Tan says. "They are the ones that can benefit directly from this form of advertising because they have more product offerings and promotional campaigns. However, SMEs can also benefit from this service because it\\\'s relatively cheap, and the SMS medium gives them a huge potential market they can use to grow their business."



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