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Box Topper Advertising Unconventional Strategy to Avoid Ad Fraud

Learn more how Pizza Box Topper Advertising can be an alternative to avoid Ads fraud.

Most digital ads do not reach real people

According to the Association of National Advertisers, only one-quarter of all digital ad spend ever reaches actual people (1). The third annual Bot Baseline Report revealed that the economic losses due to bot fraud are estimated to reach $6.5 billion globally in 2017(1).These sites rely entirely on traffic bots that mimic human behavior. Since in digital advertising, the ad costs are charged by CPM or cost per 1,000 impressions, the advertiser is trapped by bots because there was no potential customer in the first place to look at its ads.

Large corporations are taking action

Large corporations started already to take actions. As chief brand officer of Procter & Gamble, Pritchard recently issued an ominous warning that P&G would no longer waste money on digital media channels that can’t prove that customers are seeing its ads (2). Another notorious case was JPMorgan Chase that decided to have its ads appear on only 5,000 sites, cutting off 395,000 other sites. Interestingly, this only had “little change in the cost of impressions or the visibility of its ads on the internet.

The tangibility of Ambient Advertising

Fraud is prevented by demonstrating the tangibility of the ads. Ambient advertising can overcome this challenge. The concept relies on the placement of advertising in unusual and unexpected places often with unconventional methods and being first or only ad execution to do so. In-the-Hand Advertising is a ramification of Ambient Advertising and relies on the placement of ads on vehicles that consumers touch at daily basis as: coffee cups, pizza boxesbar coastersshopping bagsdoor hangersprescription bags.
Due to the unconventional nature, In-the-Hand Advertising creates a surprise effect on the target audience and enables possibilities of interaction with the recipient by evoking miscellaneous emotions and feelings and it is often referred to as a non-standard promotion tool.
Imagine grabbing a coffee from your favorite cafe venue where on the coffee sleeves there is a message of a dental service company remembering you to have a look at their teeth whitening discounts.
This articles explores the benefits and cost of advertising on a pizza box topper.

Box Topper Advertising: how does it work?

The logo and message of the advertiser are printed on pizza boxes (or pizza box topper) and distributed to the pizza venues you selected. The venues are recognized pizza chains so the advertiser has an exposure to reputable brands. The pizzerias deliver either in the hands of the consumer or at their homes reaching on average 45 min of brand exposure (average 15 min per person, average household of 3).

The Impact of Box Topper Advertising

The unconventional and unexpected nature of this type of advertising enables better perception and assimilation of the message. The ad is placed on the center of the box generating guaranteed impressions. Sometimes the consumer leaves the pizza in the fridge generating additional exposure and more impressions. On average, each pizza venue delivers 2,000 ads per month with an estimate 1.8M impressions/month. This is 4x more impressions than a freeway billboard for 10 times less costs

The costs of Box Topper Advertising

For purpose of comparison, consider the costs of a traditional OOH as benchmark, e.g. Billboards. The costs of billboards depends on format, circulation and demographics. Traditional billboards can cost between $14,000 and 20,000/month in larger markets reaching on average 80-100,000 drivers per month.
For the same cost, the advertiser can place its message on 65,000 pizza boxes at 32 different venues during the same timeframe.
Now compare the benefits, what would you prefer: reaching 100,000 distracted drivers (who you can’t be sure they looked at your billboard) or reaching 65,000 family households with a compelling message that they will look at while enjoying their pizza?


  1. The Bot Baseline: Fraud in Digital Advertising 2017 Report. Association of National Advertisers.
  2. WSJ 2018. P&G Contends Too Much Digital Ad Spending Is a Waste