Nano Bits. When Nano Meets Print.

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Monday, 28 December 2015 | By Gerry Mulvaney


By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

My children are now all in their thirties and with our first grandchild born in July, I am looking forward to another round of children’s books, games and movies as she grows up. Since our teenagers left home, my contact with the worlds of computer games, music and social media that they inhabited has been very limited, rather fortunately according to my wife’s view on the subject.

This ignorance has left me unprepared therefore for the small cartoon characters that started appearing on bright yellow boxes from Amazon, since I have no idea what a Minion is. And until I saw one on an Amazon box I didn’t know they existed!

In a very clever move, Amazon has sold the space on the outside of their shipping boxes to the producers of the blockbuster film. Millions of customers of Amazon Prime are used to getting their orders delivered free of charge and this must be a significant cost to Amazon, who have so far declined to reveal the commercial aspects of the service. But by teaming up with the film producers to promote the launch of the Minions film in cinemas this past summer, they have tapped into a potential new source of income which could help offset the Prime delivery costs. Of course the fact that the Amazon store is also filled with Minion merchandise and a specific URL on the box directs the customer to the site, also provided the American giant with additional revenues. It’s fair to say that it was a likely win-win situation for both parties.

Brands are increasingly looking for ways to promote their products to customers and although direct mail is still a very strong method, putting messages onto items that customers have specifically ordered and are waiting for, seems an ideal way to communicate.

Amazon packaging with Minions

Minions featured on Amazon packaging

Up to now, apart from the Amazon logo on the box and the customer’s delivery address, the large area of packaging has been devoid of any other images. Now, the new move by Amazon could unlock revenue streams for others involved in the delivery of internet shopping, since I am sure that the move has not gone unnoticed by the likes of UPS, DHL and FedEx.

Good News for Packaging Converters Using Digital Printing

This has got to be good news for packaging converters and producers. In particular those involved in corrugated cardboard shipping boxes, since they must be in line to benefit from printing advertising messages into the empty spaces.

Indeed it has the potential to be good news for those using digital printing technologies like the Nanography® process, since the amount of data held by both brands and shipping companies on their customers will lend itself to specific personalisation of the branding messages on the shipping packaging.

The digital printing Nanography process

The Nanography® process is a new category of digital printing technology
based on nanotechnology


The downside is that Amazon and others will have to be careful not to allow their packaging to become like Formula 1 cars – completely covered in advertising, since this is likely turn off the customers. But the appearance of a Minion has opened a whole new world for me as well as a whole new revenue stream for Amazon.

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