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On The Flip Side

Brands are flipping over a century-old marketing tool to bring brands to life with a flick of a thumb. Marking the dawn of a new era in promotions, flip books are back and they’re better than ever.

Flippies, a Mount Kisco, NY-based manufacturer, has transformed the 123-year-old product, adding a patent-pending process that brings in DVD-quality imagery to each book. The new technology captures live-action or animated footage, giving marketers a new medium for promotions, giveaways and interactive brochures.

“When flip books first came out, they were the best way you could see moving images,” says Jeffrey Kay, president of Flippies, Inc. “Now, what we’re able to do is capture [images] and convert them into…smooth realistic animation.”

Last popular in the 1960s and 1970s, the old-style books relied on simple drawings that were stacked sequentially and bound by a single staple. Now, via flash animation and streaming video, Flippies is breathing new life into the product.

High-quality imagery and consumer appeal are giving marketers new reasons to return to flip books as a unique way to boost their brands, Kay says. Part of the magic is the product’s simplicity and ability for a marketing message to be played over and over, he adds. Each side of the book features a different promotional clip.

Last month, Flippies created a flip book for Puma footwear that featured a cyclist locking and unlocking a built-in lock on the bicycle. The book was designed for retailers to use as a sales aid.

“As a marketing vehicle, [the flip books have] got that wow factor built in,” Kay says. “It looks like a movie playing before your eyes. People look at it, and are floored.”

Since its inception in 2004, Flippies has manufactured about 2 million flip books, serving roughly 19 clients. Flippies is marketing via the Internet and plans soon to launch an ad campaign. For the most part, however, the company generates new business by word of mouth.

This month, Capitol Records is launching a flip book to promote a new single from up-and-coming rap artist Ebony Eyez. The flip book, which promotes her single “In Ya Face” to DJs and radio stations, features women’s “assets” shaking and rotating. A subliminal message is embedded in each book, urging the viewer to add the rap artist to their play rotation.

“Trying to break a new artist…is pretty difficult,” says Catina Acree, a marketer at music publisher Capitol Records. “You want to get people’s attention with whatever you can. The most immediate way to do it is with promotional items.”

Capitol Records signed with Flippies to produce more than 1,000 flip books to promote Eyez, whose CD Seven Day Cycle hits stores in September, to give DJs and others with music playing power a “tangible piece of evidence that there’s something exciting somebody can actually take hold and show to other people,” Acree says. “It’s an interactive piece…that is eye catching that will generate conversation.”

“You want to get a tchotchke that shifts people’s perceptions, something that is a little different, something that is eye catching,” Acree adds. “That is what the flip books are.”

Likewise, movie studios are catching on to the craze, using the promotional tool as a “fun and unique way to deliver film clips” to promote new releases,” Kay says. This is one freebie consumers are likely to keep, he predicts. See samples at www.flippies.com

SOURCE: http://www.chiefmarketer.com/special-reports-chief-marketer/on-the-flip-side-01062005

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