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Clever Marketing, digital agency in Hampshire.

Our Top 6 Print Marketing Campaigns

In a digital world, print advertising offers still offers beautiful, tangible and immersive marketing experiences. Due to their limited space, print ads provide a satisfying challenge for marketers, and a playground for design, strong copywriting and brand identity.

From the humorous to the shocking, and from the clever to the bonkers, here are just six of our favourite print marketing campaigns of recent years.

Scrabble “The Surprising Power of Words”

Precision Parking. Park Assist by Volkswagen

Up there with Monopoly when it comes to iconic board-games that have stood the test of time, Scrabble has had its fair share of advertising campaigns.

However, their most recent stood out to us here at Clever Marketing, due to its sheer ingenuity and originality.

Featuring a series of images depicting the “surprising power of words”, our favourite ad was of a large squirrel chasing a small, frightened-looking fox. The image alludes to the fact that in Scrabble, the word “squirrel” would be worth more points than “fox”.

The humorous theme is coupled with beautiful vintage-style graphics, and other variations include a goldfish chasing a shark, and a mouse hot on the tail of a worried-looking cat. Wordplay and stunning design at their best.

WWF “Shark”

Precision Parking. Park Assist by VolkswagenShock factor and simplicity come together beautifully in WWF’s 2010 “shark” print ad.

Using a well-recognised cultural icon and inverting its meaning, this is a campaign designed to make us think.

The ad features two images side by side, which are identical apart from one key detail: one shows a shark fin, reminding us of jaws and that iconic, ominous music.

The other is an empty ocean. Underneath the first image is the word “horrifying”, while underneath the second image reads: “more horrifying”, in reference to the shark’s extinction.

Powerful, simple and bold, this is the kind of ad that works best in print, placed across two pages for maximum effect.

Volkswagen “Precision Parking”

Precision Parking. Park Assist by VolkswagenIn order to communicate some of the new features of Volkswagen’s latest models, the car manufacturer needed to come up with something clever to get the benefits across quickly in such a small space.

The result featured a line of goldfish swimming around in full-to-burst bags – and a spiky porcupine wedged precariously in between them.

The ad successfully conveyed the notion that the Volkswagen “park assist” precision parking feature is extremely accurate and reliable, even in the tightest – and riskiest – of squeezes.

We love this ad, as it shows that sometimes, images can do all the talking even when it comes to complicated, or even dry, concepts.

Penguin Books “Author Headphones”

Penguin Books - Author HeadphonesTo promote their audio-books in India, publishing giants Penguin Books used the iconic images of three famous authors:

  • William Shakespeare
  • Mark Twain and
  • Oscar Wilde.

The ad showed the authors bent into the shape of headphones, whispering into the ears of their listeners.

This concept brought the idea of an audio-book to life, and within a week, awareness of Penguin audio-books had increased by 15%.

The idea was created by McCann Worldgroup India, and went on to win a Gold Press Lion at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

Expedia “Baggage Tags”

Expedia Baggage tag adExpedia looked to the airport codes used on baggage tags to form the basis of their 2013 print ad campaign.

When placed together on one ad, the luggage tags formed a sentence, phrase or list to both clever and humorous effect.

Our favourite examples include:

“WSH EWE WRE ERE” (wish you were here), and “BON VOI AGE” (bon voyage).

What’s more, each ad was given its own theme and angle. For example, the “YOO WHT?” ad was used to talk about Expedia’s price guarantee, and “MUM DAD IOU” appealed to the gap year market.

Harvey Nichols “Could I be any Clearer?”

Harvey Nichols - Can I be Any ClearerLuxury retailer Harvey Nichols took a tongue in cheek approach in Christmas 2014. In a time when other retailers were falling over each other to gain share of voice in a saturated market, Harvey Nichols stood out from the Crowd with their humorous “could I be any clearer?” campaign.

Rather than being a dedicated print campaign as such, shoppers were able to create their own Christmas cards via the Harvey Nichols website to send to loved ones detailing exactly what they wanted for Christmas, with the aim of eliminating unwanted gifts.

The cards could feature messages such as:

“Seasons greetings…will be very awkward if you don’t get me a pair of Charlotte Olympia Octavia sandals…”

The traditional designs available made the message even more incongruous and surprising.


Clever Marketing - Hampshire Digital AgencyWe’re looking forward to many more clever and innovative print advertising campaigns this year.

If you’d like our marketing team and graphic designers to work on your print marketing project then let us know by giving us a call on 01276 534 680 or fill in our easy contact form.

How to Streamline Your Print Marketing

A print marketing campaign can be difficult to control, as it is essentially a sum of moving points coming together to (hopefully) form a cohesive ad or direct marketing piece.

In a way, a print campaign is even more essential to get right first time than other forms of media – unlike web or email, once your marketing collateral has been sent to the printers, you won’t have the chance to make any last minute changes.

So how can you effectively manage your print processes to reduce the likelihood of mistakes being made? To help you do so, we’ve put together a handy list of five ways you can streamline your print marketing processes.

1. Keep Everything in One Place

One of the most important and easiest to implement ways to streamline your print management is to make sure all documents, designs, quotes and communication relating to your project or campaign are kept in one easily accessible place.

This might be a computer folder or a web-based program; but as long as you have one dedicated location for your project, you’ll save time hunting around for details, images and so on, especially if things need to change last minute (as they often do!). It’s also a good idea to keep track of versions and drafts as you go along, in case you need to revert back or adopt earlier details at any point.

2. Centralise It for Everyone to Use

If there are a number of your colleagues involved in your print marketing project, or if you work with various different agencies to put work together, it’s a good idea to make this one dedicated location accessible to all involved. This will help prevent duplicate work, as all parties will be able to see progress at all times.

There are a number of web-based programs that can help you do this; some are more focused on project management, such as Basecamp, or Clever Marketing’s Web2Print solution provides a comprehensive tool to help you keep track of your project. Another benefit of using a web-based tool instead of a computer folder is that it can be accessed from anywhere – if you’re working remotely or travelling, you’ll still be able to keep track of your project.

3. Keep an Eye on Your Budget

It can be easy to lose track of how far you are into your budget with any print project, as there are often many parties to consult for sign-off and many amendments that will need to be made as a result.

Keeping a running track of costs associated to your project will help you stick to your allocated budget, or decide when it’s appropriate to amend that initial figure you estimated for the job. Being up front about your budget from the outset of your print marketing project will also help to reduce unrealistic expectations and demands from stakeholders.

4. Always Remember Your Brand Values

Throughout the life of any campaign, the original message can be lost, as can your essential brand stipulations in terms of language, colour and tone. Keeping a copy of your brand guidelines to hand throughout your print project will make sure you don’t deviate too far from your essential brand message, providing a stronger and more relevant end message for the ad or brochure.

5. Reduce Waste

Due to the nature of a print campaign, there will always be an inevitable amount of waste, both in terms of materials and effort. As mentioned above, having a centralised location for all correspondence and drafts of your project will help reduce the amount of redundant work involved, thus saving you money in design agency costs. This also means you can select a design agency based on quality rather than geographical location. It’s worth also considering only printing final versions of your collateral to save on printing costs.

All of the above advantages can be achieved with a simple web2print solution. Web2print serves the business need for streamlined online print management and is centred on the principles of print triggered by demand and collaboration on print projects.

Here at Clever Marketing, we understand how frustrating disparate working documents and spiralling budgets can be. That’s why we offer our own Web2print solution to help businesses to take charge of their print marketing campaigns.


Clever Marketing - Surrey SEO AgencyIf you need help with streamlining your print marketing with web2print then get in touch with Surrey & Hampshire design agency Clever Marketing.

Give us a call on 01276 534 680 or fill in our easy contact form.