Friday, March 9, 2012

Interactive Ephemera

If you're around my age (43), give or take 15 years, then you probably remember collecting scratch n' sniff stickers (or as we called them, "smelly stickers").  I was always fascinated by this technology, especially the sticker scented like skunk.  How did they do that?  (It's called "micro-encapsulation" - can you believe that Wikipedia even has a "scratch n' sniff" entry??)

Scratch n' sniff was my first experience with interactive print advertising, and the only type used in magazines (at least that I can remember) in the 70s.  I SO wish I had any examples to show you (hello, Ebay!) that are non-perfume related, but speaking of those - regardless of whether you love or hate the fragrance, you remember it, don't you?  Then it worked.

This particular ad for Mio Liquid Water Enhancer (read: liquid Kool-Aid) was included in my Entertainment Weekly last week - I immediately removed it because it's so bulky and I'm not fond of bulky paper interfering with my reading experience (hey, if you read as many magazines as I do, you discover what you like and what you don't).

GENIUS!  The advertiser WANTED me to remove the ad!  It says right on the page:  "Drop this ad in water and watch your whole world change."

Let's do it!  As I'm writing this, I haven't done it yet.  I'm filling up the sink right now.......

In it goes!  I can see it turning color immediately....

Voila!  The end result!  

Regardless of how I feel about the product (I have tried it: Mel's product review?  Meh.), that was fun!  And it got me to do EXACTLY what they wanted - I'm talking about the product!  I'm writing about the product, for all of you to read, and they didn't have to pay me a dime.  What has two thumbs and feels like a schmuck?  This lady (yes, I'm pointing at myself right now).

In our Internet-fueled world, I think we're going to be seeing a lot more of this type of print advertising - here are some great examples from the past 5 years.  And 30 years from now, you'll see this unspoiled ad for sale on Ebay for 10 bucks.  I'm on the fence about keeping this now-spent ad in my Perpetual Ephemera Depository, but it was fun while it lasted.

Speaking of having fun while it lasts - you have 8 hours and 20 minutes as of this writing to get your name in the "500 Giveaway" contest!!!  Sign up here - it's such an amazing prize pack!  I don't know how we'll ever top this, so get in on it while you can!  I'll be drawing the name tonight at 5 p.m. CST - best of luck to all!


  1. That stuff makes me visit the powder room a lot!
    Neat ad and bummed I missed your awesome giveaway!

    1. Do you mean Mio makes you use the powder room, Dianne? :D

      Sorry you missed it too! Do you "like" my Ephemera page on Facebook? I did little reminders every day (and in the blog every day, too). But don't worry - there'll be more giveaways soon! :D