One of the most exciting things about large format printing is the new technologies and products that are consistently being developed. From new printers and substrates to innovative software, forward thinking print suppliers are regularly rethinking how we design and develop solutions, to ensure our clients always have access to the most cutting edge, exciting installations.
A fantastic example of this is the Tension Fabric Frame, also referred to as the 3D ‘box banner’. These eye-catching installations have emerged over the past year as a refreshing, adaptable and effective way to make use of large format print advertising, and they offer a host of benefits to clients.
PressOn have been working with our client Limited Space to produce and install a number of these exciting, unique products across their various shopping centres, and the results suggest that in 2019 and beyond, the Box Banner could become the ‘big new thing’ in Out Of Home advertising. What’s particularly exciting is the other potential uses for this type of solution, with mall media being just one of many possible uses for this impactful product.
So what exactly is a fabric box banner? This unusual product builds upon the fundamentals of out of home advertising by offering a 3-dimensional, highly visible and attention-grabbing marketing opportunity.
The fabric box banner is built from a 3D aluminium frame, which can take one of several shapes. Instead of more ‘usual’ substrates such as vinyl, graphics for the campaign in question are printed onto fabric panels with silicone edging, which are then inserted into each face of the frame. Blackout backing is used on the fabric to ensure backlighting doesn’t create any issues with transparency.
Once assembled, the frame is suspended at height, usually from the interior ceiling of the building or facility. The boxes are scalable and available in a wide variety of sizes, and the result is a highly visible, far-reaching advertising installation. The visual impact of these products is tough to beat.
Along with a cube or cuboid format, fabric box banners can also be designed and built in the shape of a pyramid or a cylinder, and the inherent flexibility of the way they’re built means further, more complex potential configurations may become available too.
The Benefits of a Fabric Box Banner
This type of installation offers advertisers a range of benefits over more traditional OOH solutions. First and foremost, the frame itself is endlessly reusable, meaning the time-consuming inconvenience of having standard banners and installations uninstalled and removed can be avoided entirely.
The modular nature of these products also makes them easy to adapt to a number of campaigns quickly and easily. New graphics can be inserted quickly, which means last minute changes are easily catered for.
There are also demonstrable benefits to the environment when compared with solutions such as vinyl and other PVC-based products. The fabric used in these frames is biodegradable, and every panel is reusable. With traditional installations, once the campaign is over the vinyl needs to be disposed of – but with tension fabric frames, the graphics can be stored for use again. The tensile construction of the frame also means that they don’t develop creases over time!
PressOn’s work with Limited Space
PressOn have been working with Limited Space on several of these campaigns, with two of the best examples being those we put together for Swarovski and Vashi. Each campaign made innovative use of the format, in distinct and memorable ways.
Swarovski’s Christmas Campaign:
For Christmas 2018, luxury jeweller Swarovski put together a campaign that turned expectations on their head. While many retailers turn to traditional and longstanding methods of advertising as the holidays approach, in 2018, Swarovski opted for an experimental multi-channel campaign.
Offering their potential clients a more experience-focussed marketing effort, Swarovski engaged a number of unusual installations, including a fully-interactive street-side ‘sparkle box’, and two large fabric frame box banners measuring 3m x 3m x 3m.
The boxes were installed in the Metro Centre in Manchester, and at Westfield Stratford Centre, high above shoppers. The designs for the frames coincided with the overarching visuals for the campaign, which featured a blue ‘present’ wrapped in ribbon. This was an original and fitting way to make the most of the fabric box format, with the hanging ‘present’ constantly reinforcing the spirit of the holiday season – and Swarovski’s brand image – to customers below.
Vashi also made use of the fabric box banner last year, to equally impressive effect. Their ‘I made this for you’ campaign capitalised on their product offering (custom-made jewellery and engagement rings) with a simple but impactful combination of messaging and imagery.
These cuboid banners, which measured 3m x 5m x 3m, featured a simple black background similar to the velvet upon which jewellery is often displayed. On this, images of Vashi’s luxury diamond products (such as earrings and rings) were displayed over the simple, handwritten text ‘I made this for you’.
What was particularly effective in Vashi’s use of the box banner was the fact that the base of the box was used as an eye-catching feature. The base panel featured no branding or imagery, instead just the ‘I made this for you’ message was printed – thus intriguing those passing underneath the banner, and making the fabric box a talking point as well as an effective advert.