Building Better Print Ads
Be Authentic, Be Creative, Build Better Print Advertising
Over the years we have helped thousands of clients execute their print campaigns. Using research, historical knowledge and our vast network of contacts, we have laid the groundwork for some truly wonderful advertising, but strategy and execution are only part of the process.
Effective print ads stop the reader from turning the page and demonstrate what the product will do for the customer. You must stop the reader’s eye in less than a second and hold it for at least three seconds to make an impression. In the past, we have shared some basic design points to help our clients as they design for newspapers print-centric medium:
- Always stress the benefits. Advertise the benefits to the consumer of the product or service that you are advertising, not the features.
- Include a call to action. Use words such as “Call now,” “Visit our website,” or “Bring in this coupon.” Use short phrases with action words.
- Use white space effectively. Large areas of black or white catch the eye – use minimal text on larger black or white backgrounds for black and white ads.
- Use color. Color ads draw 60 percent more in-depth reading than black and white and 40 percent more than spot color.
- Feature a dominant element. Showcase a product or a logo. Put a logo and contact information in the bottom right corner as this is the best placement to catch a reader’s eye.
- Limit your fonts. To give your ad a clean look, never use more than three fonts in your ad.
A recent article from Ad Week, Print Isn’t Dead! These 7 Great Ads Showed the Medium at Its Best in 2017, offer some additions to our normal recommendations.
Speaking about Burger King’s campaign, Grey Africa’s Fran Luckin, chair of the Print and Publishing jury at Cannes said, “We’ve got a brand being brave enough to be authentic. It’s a move away from having every single piece of print communication be so carefully crafted and put out there as an official announcement. There’s a sense of being more playful, more authentic, a sense that you can be a little edgier in your communications.”
Step out of the comfort zone of print design and look for new ways to engage with publications. From this technologically advanced option explored by LL Bean with photochromic ink that only shows up in sunlight o a replacement of every single black dot with a colored dot for Eir, print offers advertisers innovative ways to interact with the reading audience.
It is okay to allow beautiful creative to speak for itself. No outlandish bells and whistles, no crazy technological integration, just beautiful copy to stop the reader in their tracks.