California Business Man Invents Advertising Concept for the 20 billion Photo Prints Produced in the US Each Year; New Medium Proves to be a Win, Win, Win for Advertisers, Retailers and Customers

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Trying to compete with the large retail chains who sell 4-by-6 prints at low margins, business owner Richard Mottla came up with Picture-Plus: a concept that places full color advertisements on the side of photographic prints. Customers receive (big) discounts on their prints if they provide some information about their pictures. In addition, they receive 2-by-4 inch coupons added to the side of each photo based on information they provided.

We didn't know what objections, if any, customers would have -- but they liked it. I had one lady come in just before we closed and ask for 25 prints. I told her we'd have them in the morning. She said, 'I have to have them today! One of the coupons is for a restaurant I am going to tonight.' So of course we printed them for her. We had a very good response to the trial.

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Attaching coupons to the side of a 4-by-6 photo print is the latest concept invented by Richard Mottla, owner of DigiDog Photo in Escondido, Calif. This revolutionary advertising concept increases print profitability for photo developers while providing advertisers with a new vehicle to reach targeted audiences – while giving customers coupons tailored to their lifestyle.

He tested the idea for a month in his store, running coupons from local businesses. For those customers who chose to participate, DigiDog Photo made 4-by-8 prints, adding a 2-by-4 inch ad onto the side of the 4-by-6 prints.

"We wanted to see first if customers would accept a coupon attached to their prints,” Mottla said. “We didn't know what objections, if any, customers would have -- but they liked it. I had one lady come in just before we closed and ask for 25 prints. I told her we'd have them in the morning. She said, 'I have to have them today! One of the coupons is for a restaurant I am going to tonight.' So of course we printed them for her. We had a very good response to the trial."

He predicts advertisers will also love the idea.

"We feel it is a good fit for advertisers, because people have to see the ad,” he said. “People who opt in accept there will be ads on their prints which have some value, and that they will have to clip off the coupon. The value to the advertiser is the coupons or ads can’t be skipped; they’re attached to their photos and must be seen, usually by two people or more. If they are looking at the picture of their baby, they are going to see the ad for Johnson Baby products or whatever it may be. What better way for a pet food company to get its message out than to have its ad appears next to a picture of a family’s new puppy?"

Advertisers will also love it because it is targeted. The customer will attach keywords to each photo regarding the content of that photo. Those keywords are then matched against a database of advertiser keywords, where there is a match a coupon or ad will be placed

During the trial, DigiDog ran ads and coupons from 25 local businesses, and promoted the service on the radio, he said. Mottla was surprised by the degree of success. During that month, 80 percent of the store’s 4-by-6 prints ordered were Picture-Plus prints, and 50 percent of Picture-Plus users were new customers to the store. Furthermore, DigiDog had a 55 percent increase in its 4-by-6 print revenue.

Mottla said he now plans to take his idea, which is patent pending, to other photo retailers and advertising brokers. While he hopes to see Picture-Plus make its way to the big online photofinishers or search companies, it could also work via kiosks or smaller online services as well.

For customers, the ordering process for Picture-Plus prints is only slightly different. They visit the photo printing website or kiosk and choose Picture-Plus. They provide information about the content of their photos using keywords. While there they receive an incentive for providing a greater number of keywords for each picture. More keywords per photo helps in getting a good match to an advertiser’s product. The value of the coupons they receive will exceed the cost of their prints. In addition, the coupons, because of the keyword data, will be extremely tailored to their lifestyles. The coupons are then redeemable at local stores, national chain retailers or with online merchants.

Mottla is currently exploring partnership opportunities and expects to offer Picture-Plus to photo retailers early next year. A photo retailer offering Picture-Plus would not have to add "advertising salesperson" to his/her already extensive list of job duties, he adds. Advertisements would be sold by brokers. In fact, the retailer would do almost nothing different, except make 4-by-8 prints rather than 4-by-6. They would be reimbursed for the discount provided to Picture-Plus customers and would share in the advertising revenue.

For more information about this lucrative concept, visit the Web site at http://www.picture-plus.com , or Contact Rich Mottla via email.

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