Ad cards (Part 2)

A few months ago, we wrote about the ad card we published for ourselves.   Now it’s time to explore the whole category — love them or hate them.


We can’t speak for anyone else, but we like to think of ad cards in three groups.  First, the older ones, whose historical context and artwork help you forget they were trying to sell something.  When you look at the card we chose for this entry, do you instantly see it as advertising?  (That’s a rhetorical question.  Don’t answer!)


Next, the cards you might see in racks, in malls or restaurants or anywhere — free, colourful, plentiful, and often very clever — as good advertising should be.  These can serve as actual postcards; or, because someone is paying for them even if you aren’t, they can be fully printed on both sides to make maximum use of the space.


Finally, there are cards like those we get in the mail all the time.  Here in Hong Kong, these tend to be for new housing developments in London, or restaurants, or educational training services.  This last type only barely qualifies as postcards, in our view; but that’s how they look and how they are mailed, always with bulk-mail imprints.


We really like the antique cards.  Banks used to send them with tiny little calendars attached for the following year.  And they could be personalized, because companies had manageable mailing lists.  We also like many of the new cards-in-racks because they tend to be both creative and informative.  Pre-virus Hong Kong had an annual Arts Festival, and ad cards announced individual performances.  You can see quite a few examples of these in the site now.  As well, art galleries use these cards to introduce exhibits.  We can guess why we see far fewer of these racks around here any more, and hope they come back when things return to normal.


As for the type that show up in our mailbox, we finally got so many real estate cards for properties around the world — not just in the U.K. — that we made one site entry telling folks to contact us for details if they were interested.  Our favourites by far from these posted cards come from Pizza Hut, whose product offerings for pizza can be as extreme as the fine print PH needs to describe it all.  We wish there was a way to see how they use postcards as marketing tools in other countries, but we will make do with what we have, and keep adding more.  Personally I’m waiting for them to introduce a Chicken Feet Pizza, and to put THAT on a postcard.  We will go out and scour the neighbourhood for more cards if that happens, though probably won’t eat the pizza itself.


Bye for now, until next time.