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Printing Marketers Go Head Hunting —Cagle

January 2010
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THERE AREN'T many print advertisements that allow you to lop someone's head off—heaven knows we wish there were more—but one printer seems to be head and shoulders above the competition in this regard. Or at least head...

The print ad in question is for Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed II video game, produced and co-designed by Sandy Alexander of Clifton, NJ. The piece consists of a four-page spread that, when opened, tears off the "king's head," empowering the end user a-la Henry VIII. The king in question, at least temporarily, is one of the characters in the game.

The tactile and audible sensation of engaging one of the game's characters is yet another way printers can continue to find ways to garner mind share. Sandy Alexander says the advertisement has generated plenty of buzz in the gamer blog community. The company quoted Jake Gaskill of as saying, "...this is the single greatest piece of video game print advertising I have ever seen."

Collaborating on the insert were Hugh Haas and Jeff Michael of Sandy Alexander, along with help from Ubisoft's agency, Cutwater. The ad appeared in last November's issue of GamePro and the December 2009 issues of Official XBOX Magazine and Playstation: The Official Magazine.

According to Haas, the collaboration with Cutwater for developing a print beheading proved to be a challenging task. "In one meeting we were literally cutting up napkins in a diner while discussing ideas," he recalls.

Sandy Alexander flexed its creative muscles on a number of projects last year. It printed the first "mix and match" cover for Esquire magazine, which featured the faces of George Clooney, President Obama and Justin Timberlake, among others. The company also printed a piece for the Gap that reportedly achieved one of the highest levels of recall achieved in a print advertising campaign.

COPY EDITOR'S NIGHTMARE: In the world of journalism, it's not always what you say, but where you say it, as well. And, it always helps to have a second set of eyes.

About 15 years ago, while doing newspaper layout and design, I wrote a headline about former basketball star Glenn Robinson, a.k.a., Big Dog, who was complaining about his NBA contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.


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