Print Advertising is a Gift

This week, we opened up the printer’s bible to bring you Reason #136 on the “Top 816 Reasons why Print Advertising is so effective”:

It offers people something TANGIBLE. Something they can hold in their hot little hands, stick on their fridge, save in a drawer, etc…

By offering consumers print advertising, you offer them something that is almost giftlike, and potentially of value beyond its status as a piece of advertising. This, of course, is the key to good advertising.

So next time you’re running a print ad campaign, consider building it around an offering to customers that goes beyond informing them about your product. A few ways to do this include:

  • Educating: Just give the people some free information. Recipes, little-known facts, and even jokes are all enjoyably informative.
  • Enabling: Make something easier for the consumer. A menu flyer is the perfect example of this strategy, but you can also get creative with door hangers, hang tags, and greeting cards.
  • Dazzling: If you can make someone smile, laugh, or appreciate beauty, you’ll have surprised them out of their mundane daily routine, and they’ll appreciate you for it.

Some examples of each of these strategies are:

  • Educate: A recent one-page print ad by Braun offered consumers shaving tips on trimming their facial hair to suit their style. The ad looks almost like a magazine article at first, until you see that you can only achieve these styles with a Braun razor. This is so effective because guys actually do spend a lot of time worrying about their facial hair.
  • Enable: A nice piece of print advertising that came out with the final Harry Potter book was a full-color door hanger reading: “Do Not Disturb. Harry Potter Reading Marathon in Session.” Talk about a great way to integrate your brand into the household!
  • Dazzle: A few months ago, Boing Boing wrote a post about business cards that sprout tiny plants when wetted. Seeds worked into the paper create this simple but uniquely stunning effect.

There are many other ways to use print advertising to make people’s lives easier, funnier, or more interesting. By using these techniques, an ad campaign can offer consumers a free gift without needing to go outside the project budget. Finding creative ways to offer consumers value, not through, but within advertising, and within budget, is the future of great marketing.