The news is fresh. The ads can be, too.
We know newspaper readers visit us regularly in print, on a computer, via tablet, and by phone. We excite them with the latest — curating content that we believe will be of interest.
The ads can reflect the news — building on it — becoming part of the story. Or by creating a new story.
Take the case of Prince Harry being caught naked by photographers partying in Las Vegas. The story was all over our newspapers. So the city of Las Vegas took the opportunity to take out newspaper ads highlighting that “the code” had been broken.
For those not familiar with the standing convention, it is understood that, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” The ad attempts to publicly shame the leakers of the photos while also teasing them about no longer garnering bottle service and other benefits.
This was an unexpected incident to which the advertiser provided a fun and cheeky response — exactly what we would expect from Las Vegas.
But there’s no need to wait for an international incident. An expected event, like the Olympics, works well. There is a lot of public interest in the event and readers check in regularly for updates.
Weetabix was the official breakfast of the New Zealand Olympic team. The brand wanted to reinforce its healthy position. So it cheered on the team with its ad message in newspapers, “Great source of iron, bronze, silver, and gold.”
Then there are regular annual events, like Father’s Day. Durex condoms toasted the day with its newspaper ad, “To all those who use our competitor’s products. Happy Father’s Day.”
My favourite day for advertisers is April Fools’ Day. It is a day for practical jokes and hoaxes. As it is not a national holiday, but rather an informal event, many people forget and are taken in by pranks.
IKEA ran an ad for a doggy high chair on April Fools’ Day. The copy made the whole thing sound quite plausible. Charming. How can you not feel akin to an advertiser that has a sense of humour?
Here’s to having more fun with our ads and ensuring our medium connects on every level!