Printing Marketers Go Head Hunting —Cagle
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 G4tv.com 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.
It was a one column, three deck head, which is enough for roughly three normal sized words (or five really small words). "Robinson" was too long for the point size I was using, so I went with Big Dog.
One more word was needed, and the choices were many. I could've chose "barks" or "yelps" to keep the cheesy dog theme afloat. Since Robinson came off like a crybaby in the article, I chose...bawls. 'Big Dog' Bawls was the headline. It fit, the word "bawls" didn't have a descender jutting toward the copy, and deadline was breathing down my neck.
The next day, I got a dirty look from my editor-in-chief, who uttered, "Do you always have to be a smart ass?" When I asked what he was talking about, he told me to read the Robinson headline again. After about 15 seconds, I broke into a juvenile snickering jag.
But I had no backup the previous evening to catch the double entendre, and did not have malice in my heart. (P.S., not a single irate call or letter to the editor.)
Fast forward to last November and enter the digital age. WPMI-TV in Mobile, AL, is making every effort to tout its modern news coverage and dissemination methods, including an electronic billboard visible to commuters. In a cross-media move, the hip station posts its Twitter live news tweets to the billboard. One such tweet landed two station execs in hot water. The feed read, "3 Accused of Gang Rape in Monroeville."
There was just one problem. The billboard content is split in half, with the variable Twitter content on the right and, on the left, the static image of three television news personalities wearing their patented, vacuous broadcaster smiles. It would have been funny to see "3 Cows Loose on Interstate 10" and not a topic as stern as gang rape, but that didn't stop the billboard image from making its rounds on the Internet last month.
'ELLO GUVNAH: Perhaps hoping to advance the printing platform, the owner of a printing company in Milwaukee has thrown his hat into the ring for governor of the state of Wisconsin. Tim John, owner and president of Milwaukee-based Blue Mound Graphics, is running for the Democratic nomination.
John will have a tough go of it in his party, with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett the presumptive nominee. But John's family carries some clout in the state. His great-grandfather was Frederick J. Miller, founder of Miller Brewing Co.
Scott Walker, a Milwaukee County executive, is the frontrunner among the Republicans heading into the November showdown. PI