Adam Wagner, Chief strategy officer and partner at Raindrop recently contributed an article that was posted on the Forbes Agency Council. His article resonates with me. Like Adam, I’ve always believed that there is more to marketing than just digital, and I’m sharing his article in this post.
A Antiquated. Outdated. Unnecessary. Ask an inbound-only marketer about print collateral, and these are the words you might hear in response. Meanwhile, marketers who see the big picture are using creative, conceptual leave-behinds to put a bow on their brand experience and make a tangible impression. With digital becoming the more prevalent marketing medium, there are moments when a high-touch piece of print collateral can make a surprisingly profound impact. Why?
People appreciate print collateral for the same reason they use handouts and take handwritten notes in meetings. Paper is ingrained in humanity, dating back to the earliest civilizations that used woven papyrus as a writing surface.
When creating brochures, mailers and other print marketing materials, graphic designers will often talk about creating collateral that “feels important.” Seeing a brochure on a screen doesn’t deliver the same tactile fulfillment as holding that very same brochure in your hand. We see millions of things on our screens each day and the digital overload dilutes the sense of importance in even the most memorable design.
Before we go any further, let’s make one thing clear: As we pump up the marketing value of printed materials, we’re referring only to those that are unique, thoughtful and creative. A static folder with a few sell sheets does not qualify as impactful collateral. If you’re going to invest in print, make it amazing. Think sizes, shapes, finishes and other fine details that will make your piece more valuable than the paper it is printed on. Consumer packaging can serve as a great source of inspiration.
Print collateral builds and strengthens relationships. It shows that you have gone out of your way to spend time and money on something that you plan to give away for free. We call it a “leave-behind” because it is meant to extend your presence. After your meeting with a prospect is over and you leave them to make a buying decision, a leave-behind subtly reinforces your brand by keeping you “top of mind” in the same vein as email or social media marketing — only your content is actually on their desk where they work every day instead of buried in their inbox or social feed.
I am mesmerized by the anonymity, the process, and the typographic aspect of the messages left, or rather, adhered to some of our city’s streets. This is an interesting article that I discovered on Facebook. I can’t seem to get it out of my mind, and am intrigued by the idea of using the process (yes, good designers steal great ideas), to create impactful messages about social concerns. I can also see applications for social messaging (social media) and, or course, branding. The images left by the anonymous artist are reminiscent of both folk art and ancient mosaics.
To learn more, visit the the Atlas Obsccura website atlasobscura.com.
S an Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has created a social media campaign that uses text messaging to help generate personal connections between a vast number of the museum’s enthusiasts, and the museum’s extensive collection of more than 34, 678 works of fine art. Text 571-51 with the words “send me” followed by a keyword, a color, or even an emoji, and the museum will send you via text message, a related artwork from their collection. I sent a text message with an emoji of a cactus, and SFMOMA replied with Brett Weston’s “Untitled (Cactus),” from 1931. How cool is that!
To learn more, visit the museum’s websitesfmoma.org.
H ow does the French supermarket Intermarché use storytelling that tugs at the heart? They do it without uttering a word. After all, who needs words when the story is universal. What’s terrific about this ad is that anyone who’s ever been in love will relate to its message. Tying the love story to the brand is brilliant. And who better to do that than the French? The message is wholesome with an endearing innocence. It’s full of passion and persistence. Intermarché is the place to acquire a habit of eating healthy with fresh, seasonal products. The commercial invites the viewer to eat better, and to shop in the French supermarkets where falling in love, or begin satiated with wholesome food is the ultimate experience.
P rogress Wear creates t-shirts with powerful, politically charged messages. The company’s tag line is “Progressive thought. Well defined, well designed.” Progress Wear was founded in 2006 by painter and graphic designer Patrick King, who was frustrated by the messages he found on t-shirts. The Iraq war, and an unchecked administration fueled by post 9/11 xenophobic patriotism had fostered new activism that seemed to have all but disappeared after the 1960s. Patrick got creative. His early offerings included shirts such as LIERAQ, Practice Safe Secularism, and Intelligent Design Isn’t.
With the election of a new and fiercely polarizing president, Patrick’s activist spirit has reignited, and Progress Wear is once again addressing the issues of the moment with t-shirts that employ strong typography and powerful messages.
Check out Progress Wear’s website progresswear.com to see what they’ve got to say — and offer. All of their shirts are terrific, but don’t overlook the TypographyShop. It was launched in 2008, and has been featured in hundreds of design blogs and publications. (www.progresswear.com)