For small businesses, it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day competitive world of social media and digital marketing.
However, print marketing is still alive and well — and something businesses should consider as a means to support their digital efforts.
In a survey of 500 marketers, B2B research firm Clutch learned that over 60% of large B2B and B2C companies use print marketing.
When used effectively, print marketing can also increase the results of small business campaigns.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how some brands have enhanced their digital marketing efforts with print media campaigns.
1. Louvre Abu Dhabi “Highway Gallery” Proves the Value of Print Marketing
In 2017, the Louvre in Abu Dhabi was the first universal museum to open in the Arab world.
As part of an initiative to build an audience in a country that is largely unfamiliar with museum culture, Louvre launched a campaign titled “Highway Gallery.”
The Highway Gallery consisted of billboards placed intermittently along the highway that brings visitors from Du Bois to Abu Dhabi. The highway is normally a long trip without any scenery, and it’s well-known as a long and boring drive.
Louvre’s “Highway Gallery” consisted of oversized billboard-like reproductions of classic masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa and Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portrait.
The museum took the experience one step further by equipping each billboard with a solar-powered FM transmitter that synchronized with the area’s top 3 radio stations.
To engage, drivers or passengers only had to tune in to one of the stations.
Then, while driving up to and past each piece of artwork, viewers were treated to a 30-second audio clip that introduced the artist and the piece.
“Welcome to the Louvre Abu Dhabi,” the audio would say. “Meet Vincent Van Gogh, one of the greatest artists of the 19th century. This bronze masterpiece originally stood in the royal courts of Europe….”
The Louvre’s Highway Gallery is a striking example of how print advertising can support digital and social media marketing. The campaign:
- Increased brand social mentions by 1180%
- Increase media impressions from less than 330,000 to 35 million
- Increased visits by 165%
Louvre’s Highway Gallery was displayed outdoors for one month, yet it skyrocketed their social media presence and in-person traffic.
2. Kiwi Shoe Polish “First Steps” Print Ads
Ogilvy Chicago recently created a new line of print ads for shoe polish brand Kiwi.
Each ad contains the actual shoes of an influential person in history, set atop a full-page story about how that person’s shoes were used.
According to Adweek magazine, Kiwi worked hard to track down and photograph the shoes of iconic figures such as Ernest Hemingway, Abraham Lincoln, and Muhammed Ali.
In a feature story at Best Ads on TV: Print, Ogilvy Chicago explains the award-winning print campaign: “…we approached the story of 6 charismatic figures from a different angle; we put their steps in the spotlight… we illustrated the difference that these people made in the course of human events.”
In June 2018, Ogilvy Chicago won the “Cannes Grand Prix in the Industry — Crafts” category.
Kiwi complimented the print campaign with a web page that lets users view the shoes and listen to their stories.
3. Burger King Burning Stores Print Ads
Apparently, more Burger King restaurants have burned down than any other fast food chain since 1984.
How this piece of trivia turned into an ad campaign — we may never know. But Burger King “burning stores” print ad series was a big hit with audiences and critics alike.
The print ad series used images of real fires that happened at Burger King restaurants — complete with firemen, trucks, and hoses — to create the award-winning ads.
Atop the eye-catching photos was a stamp that read “Flame-Grilled Since 1954.”
The Burger King ad series was met with some backlash, but the chain is no stranger to risk-taking and apologies.
4. Heinz’s Ode to “Mad Men” Print and Billboard Ads
Netflix’s legendary “Mad Men” series centered around a creative ad executive named Don Draper.
In the fictional, 1960s world of advertising, marketing executive Don Draper pitched a campaign idea to Heinz executives. The pitch included close-up images of foods that traditionally need ketchup, followed by the phrase “Pass the Heinz.”
Ultimately, the fictional Heinz executives rejected the idea because the ads didn’t include the word “ketchup” or show an image of their product anywhere.
In 2017, the non-fictional, real-life Heinz brand developed an actual campaign based on the fictional character’s pitch.
Heinz chose to run the ads as the fictional Don Draper intended — in print and billboard advertising.
According to Adweek, the fictional Don Draper and real-life Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner are both listed in the credits.
5. Spotify Out-of-Home Ads
“Out-of-home advertising” is a marketing industry term that refers to any type of advertising outside consumers’ homes, such as billboard advertising. Spotify used this marketing strategy effectively in their 2017 data-driven billboards.
As the year drew to a close, the brand started gearing up for next one with their “2018 Goals” series.
For example, one clever ad read “2018 Goals: Exercise more conventionally than the person who put ‘Slow Hands’ on their running playlist.”
Another ad jokingly advised consumers to stay away from medical professionals who streamed songs like “Stressed Out,” and “Can’t Feel My Face.”
By merging big data with clever messaging, Spotify humored the world with their witty take on data analysis.
The campaign generated quite the buzz on social media, and the brand continues finding new ways to entice listeners with data-based trivia. For example, it tweets notifications of song statuses when one has reached an impressive number of streams.
In this way, Spotify continues to engage listeners with data, which contributes to the interest of its bigger, out-of-home print campaigns
Go Big on Creativity
Print advertising can be a great benefit to businesses already marketing online. It can drive a larger, more engaged audience to social media channels. It can also be used in conjunction with digital and social media marketing to send customers to in-person or online stores and events.
The key lesson we learn from the examples above is that print marketing takes a little more creativity and risk-taking than online marketing.
To catch the attention of consumers, you’ll need to ensure that your print marketing stands out in a way that generates buzz surrounding your brand.