You can print out a thousand flyers but how do you stop them from becoming paper airplanes, a stain protectant during arts and crafts time or a million other unrelated transformations? You get creative with it. Companies that have braved innovative designs have been rewarded handsomely for them. Check out four creative ideas that jumped out, quite literally in some cases, to reach the audience.

1. Flyers doused in catnip
As Ad Week reported, Vancouver agency Rethink thought outside of the box, of litter in this case, and directly reached its demographic – cats. The company sent out flyers that were dredged in catnip and felines all across the nation went bonkers for the printed treat. Not only did this garner the attention of pet owners, who were likely entertained by the hilarity of a cat attacking a piece of mail, but it also went viral. The stunt was so successful, the flyers basically did the work for themselves. 

2. Real women use Dove
In a separate campaign, explained by Forbes, skin care company Dove opted to feature curvy women in commercials and other advertisements. They called this initiative the Real Beauty campaign and used women of all shapes to promote their product. This technique worked for a few reasons. For starters, the company was able to call attention to the harsh realities of the beauty industry. Next, it was completely original. Not many places featured people who weren't models on the covers of their products. Finally, Forbes explained, the company's campaign made women feel like they were joining a good cause by purchasing Dove products. It was the power of empowerment.

3. Let the Big Mac speak for itself
International advertising agency TBWA let McDonald's iconic food items speak for themselves in a recent ad campaign. The company simply posted large visuals of McDonald's menu items in magazines and other platforms without anything more, including brand. Companies typically spend ages brainstorming the perfect words to add to an image but TBWA explained that when a company already does it all, why not let the product stand alone? 

4. The before and after business card
Inc. magazine shared a clever business card used by makeup artist Laura Duff. Her cards reflect her expertise in transforming people into zombies for movies, such as Flight of the Living Dead. The background of the card is two women – one a beauty and the other a monster. Down the middle of the paper is a bright blue background that holds her contact information. Not only are the cards memorable and creative, they also appropriately represent her services.

Next time you're thinking about printing up business cards, flyers, brochures or other forms of print, use these role models as a jumping off point. There's nothing worse than dedicating time and money to something that will be tossed aside or used as a clean-up aide. 

Create something that's bold, innovative and touches on topics that are important to your target audience. It could transform your printed product into an effective tool that garners attention and makes money for your business.