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An introduction to Placemat Advertising

Placemat advertising is the printing of ads on placemats. This is often done in restaurants where local businesses can pay to have their advertisement placed on, usually, paper placemats. This defrays the cost of the many placemats that a restaurant may go through and also helps the local businesses by placing their ad in front of people who are already in the area.

An ad on a placemat is often business card size and contains similar information as a business card would have; a small graphic, phone number, address, and possibly a line or two describing the business.

Let’s make no bones about it – we are THE experts in the industry when it comes to placemat advertising. We can handle everything from design to printing, to organizing the best placemat advertising locations in your area that closely match the clientele you are looking for.

As one of the largest placement advertising companies in the country, we are perfectly positioned to offer advertising at exclusive restaurants, golf clubs, diners, fast food outlets – anywhere that has customers sitting at tables! We fully take your requirements into account while we make the ultimate placemat advertising campaign for you and your business, and should you require it we will organize the placement of the placements in the organizations of your choosing. We’ll be able to offer you the best placement advertising locations in your local area, or even further afield. We are the one-stop-shop for all your placemat advertising needs.

Creative Ideas for Placemat Advertising

One of the more creative ideas for placemat advertising is themed placemats where there is an overall aesthetic to the placemat matching the location in which the ads are placed. This is often done in themed restaurants such as retro diners. Not only does this practice help the placemats appear more natural, it draws the patron’s eye and thus places attention on the ads.

Another quirky idea that is sometimes used in placemat advertising is working the brand into an activity sheet for young children. In restaurants that cater to families, it is important to give children some form of entertainment while they are waiting for their food. This is sometimes done by placing several short activities on one, or both, sides of a paper placemat. Businesses are able to work their brand into the activities, such as a maze that ultimately leads to a local children’s destination.

What Materials Are Involved?

The most basic placemats are simple paper rectangles. They are often very thin and cost under a penny a piece to manufacture. This is important as they are ephemeral and are discarded after one short use. However, they cannot be too cheap or ”weak” as they still often serve a practical purpose, keeping food and drink spills off of the table.

Some businesses opt for plastic placemats. These are an environmentally-friendly alternative to the paper placemat that can be reused over and over as long as the ads are still current and relevant.

One of the easily foreseeable problems with the plastic alternative is that if one business fails to renew an ad, they must all be replaced. In some situations a more expensive placemat that takes a paper insert can be used. Rather than print the ads directly onto the plastic, a paper insert containing the ads can be inserted and viewed through a clear viewing area in the placemat. While this form may seem attractive, it is worthwhile to note that plastic placemats incur many costs that may lessen their feasibility. Such costs include cleaning as well as possible the replacement of paper inserts in the case of that model.

How Do Placemats Fit Into a Larger Marketing Effort?

For small businesses, placemat ads are just another version of the old fashioned newspaper or circular ad. They are relatively small and cheap to place. While they do not often target a specific audience, placemat ads do guarantee the advertiser that their ad is being seen near the location of their business. Therefore, the ads may be part of a larger effort to bring local awareness to the business, as well as driving foot traffic from people who may be curious. For independent businesses, it is usually important to get their product or business in front of people in the local community because it is those people who are most likely to patronize them.

The overall idea of the placemat ad is also useful as part of a ”shop local” campaign as they often specifically highlight local businesses. In the placemat environment, small mom and pop shops do not have to compete dollar to dollar with large conglomerates, as all the ads are usually equal in size and visual impact.

Community organizations or a chamber of commerce could conceivably use placemat ads as a showcase for their members, all of whom operate businesses in the area. For such organizations, placemat ads could be a much more effective part of an advertising campaign than more expensive signage or mailing circulars. Placemat ads are an excellent way for a chamber of commerce to help their members succeed and also spread word of the services they have to offer to local businesses.

Although there are numerous benefits to small businesses, placemat ads can also effectively be incorporated to the advertising campaigns of large companies. Companies, such as Coca Cola, rely on being in the mind of the consumer to drive sales. It is not enough to place one effective ad. Rather, they need to be everywhere so all the consumer sees is their ad, and the next time they are looking for a product, in this case a soda, they buy from that business.

Placemat ads are very effective in placing ads in front of the consumer where they can be seen for an extended period of time while a patron is eating. In the case of food or beverage companies, placemat advertising can be especially beneficial as the audience has the opportunity to buy the product right after they see it being advertised. If a man is in a restaurant and is looking over the beverage section of the menu, he can then see an ad for a specific brand of soda and may order that brand because it will be fresh in his mind.

Repeat Exposure

Always fresh in the mind of the consumer, placemat advertising is an effective form of repeat exposure. Diners in restaurants are not just seeing the ad on a sign once when they walk in the door. Instead, they are constantly being exposed to the brands being advertised from the time they are seated at the table until the time they pay the check. Repeat exposure is key to effective advertising because it allow advertisers to make a lasting impression with each consumer. It is an inexpensive and easy way to get the name of a business in front of the people who may be most likely to become customers in the future.

Will People Be Receptive to Ads?

What mood are people often in when they are eating a delicious meal at a restaurant? It would not be a stretch to venture an answer that they are often happy and lighthearted. When that is taken into consideration, one can understand that the placemat ads are reaching their audience at the best possible time.

People become much more receptive to advertising when they are in a positive mood. Placemat advertising almost guarantees that the majority of the audience will be a positive mood when they see the ads. This is one of the important benefits to placemat advertising as many other forms of advertising do not target people in specific moods. One of the advantages this form of advertising has over other forms, such as television or radio, is that both of those may reach a lot of people while they are unhappy or in a negative mood; such a mood may greatly lessen the chance that the person will be receptive to the ad even if it is a product they may be interested in.

Similar to focusing on people in a certain mood, placemat advertising often brings ads to people at a time when they are most relaxed. While someone may be a nervous wreck commuting to work in miles of traffic when they hear a radio ad, the same person is more likely to be relaxed when they are sitting down and enjoying a meal. For some people their meal time may be one of the only times all day they have an opportunity to sit down and relax. This is related to a positive mood, as people who are relaxed are more likely to be receptive to ads as they are not focusing on other, more important, things.

What Do the Statistics Say?

While it is certain that the placemat will be in front of the patron for a major portion of their meal, just how much time is that really? On average, it can be expected a placemat ad will be in view of the customer for approximately twenty minutes. Compared with a short radio commercial, which may last only thirty seconds, placemat advertising offers a relatively inexpensive way to get an ad in front of a potential customer for a significant amount of time.

The terms of the advertising contract will vary from restaurant to restaurant, but the average amount of time a single placemat ad will be in use is from three to four months. For a fraction of a penny per ad, an advertiser can get long term exposure that is guaranteed to be placed in front of a live person, unlike junk mail which may be thrown away as soon as it is taken from the mailbox.

Finally, it is necessary to look at how many times an ad will be seen in order to understand the effectiveness of placemat advertising. The audience depends heavily on the patronage of the restaurant, but there was, recently, an estimate made that an ad will be seen about five thousand times in a standard period of advertising.

Ready to Get Started? Contact Us Today

Placemat advertising is clearly a smart move for any burgeoning business, helping to cement your brand in the minds of local consumers when they are most receptive to it. Now you know the many benefits, we would like to offer our placemat advertising design and development services to you. You’ll be surprised how low cost this powerful form of advertising can be, and we’re ready to help you make the best decisions regarding design, placement and message. Get in touch today!