The Beauty of a Good Print Ad

Gutenberg Would Be Proud
For all the buzz about digital and social media marketing these days, I was really excited to see this Stihl ad in the Wall Street Journal recently. (Forgive the quality of the image – scanning a tall newspaper can be tricky. Click on it to blow it up.)

I am excited by this weed-whacker ad because it re-affirms the qualities of a great print ad that can’t be duplicated in any other medium. This can’t work as a t.v. spot or a banner on a website. It can only work in print, and the execution of the ad is top-notch. It creatively blurs the line between the medium and the advertisement.

The ad is creative, eye-catching, and it made me pause and admire it. I even started reading the article a little bit. It’s nice to see that Stihl put some time and effort into creating an advertisement that earned my attention.

Creativity and Placement
I’ll assume that the target market for a weed-whacker is a male homeowner above the age of 30. I’ll also assume that the majority of WSJ readers are males above the age of 30 – and many of them probably own a home. So, not only is the advertisement well designed, but it’s also placed appropriately.

I’m a fan of a well designed, well placed advertisement in any medium. That’s why I really appreciate the brilliance of this ad. The challenge that we marketers face today is creating ads across the appropriate mediums that that grab our attention like this one does. The best print ad in the world doesn’t matter if it’s placed in the wrong place.

Add This to Your To-Do List
Are your advertisements grabbing your target market’s attention? If not, then you need to look at the places that you’re advertising AND the execution of the advertisement. If you’ve got an execution problem, the solution most likely isn’t a larger font in a magazine or louder music on a radio commercial. It’s creativity, wit, and attention to detail. If you’ve got a placement problem, then you need to figure out how to meet your target audience in the places that they hang out.

Combine great placement with great execution and you’ll be in good shape.

There’s never a lack of ideas.

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