Mobile advertising has been around a lot longer than smart phones. Retailers have used their customers as mobile billboards for decades, by printing branding messages on their shopping bags. Some shopping bags even become status symbols themselves, rivalling the most popular fashion brands. Bloomingdale’s iconic “Brown Bag” and Tiffany’s trademark blue bag are great examples. Shopping bags from luxury brands like Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton have always carried special prestige.
Recent bans on disposable shopping bags have resulted in even more attention from retailers. The reusable shopping bag now has the potential to be used as an everyday, all-purpose carry-all. Witness the popularity of Whole Foods two-dollar grocery totes, and Lululemon’s little red “manifesto” totes, which are commonly used as second purses. The fact is, people have stuff to carry, they need bags, and there’s intense competition among “bagvertisers” to get all of us to carry their branded bags.