Toshiba goes life-size in press

UK - See how Toshiba's creative application of newspapers led to a stock sell-out across the UK.


Toshiba knew that the best way to sell its laptop was to get it into the hands of the consumer. But how to do that in an advertising campaign? The answer was brilliantly simple. Run life-sized ads in the national press.


Toshiba faced an unfamiliar challenge of breaking late into the saturated laptop market. Established laptop products had been marketed at cash strapped students. However, Toshiba focused on a different sector. They realised there was a growing potential within the business market and with that came the increased importance of ultra-mobile laptops; consumers who needed briefcase portability with boardroom power.

Why newspapers?

Getting the product within the hands of consumers was the most convincing method of selling and Toshiba wanted to replicate that.Newspapers provided the ideal environment for speaking to their target audience – laptops and newspapers shared similar characteristics. Newspapers’ portability offers readers the value of consuming information on the go, which is an important asset shared with a laptop. Readers are often attracted by the physicality a paper brings. To hold something physical which contains so much information, yet could be rolled up and carried under an arm is a quality greatly appreciated by many readers. Netbooks shared this quality and Toshiba wanted to emphasise this.

Campaign Description

The idea was the Toshiba Netbook ‘Life Sized’. To run the laptop exactly as it was, actual size, in beautiful colour and clarity. This allowed the reader to almost touch and feel ownership of the Netbook.

Toshiba also needed to get in the key product messages which required more canvas. Plus they wanted to replicate the familiar opening and closing of a laptop. So they also bought the opposing space on leading in and out of the spread.

To get further cut-through, Toshiba wanted the ad to appear more in an unusual disruptive position on the page. To do this, the media agency negotiated for the creative to break into the editorial heading at the top of the page with the editorial content wrapped around framing the execution.


The campaign ran for three weeks and the strategy was successful as the market sold out of its Toshiba Netbook stock and demanded more through advanced orders for the upcoming quarter.

The ad was nominated in the Creative Media Partnership category of the 2009 Awards for National Newspaper Advertising (aka, the ANNAs UK).

To determine the feasibility of this creative format and to explore other innovative uses of newspaper space, please contact newspaper publishers during the early stages of creative development.

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