Stripping & Strategic Use Of Space For Maximum Visual Impact

Newspapers, magazines and the general print medium are among the most used form of advertising. Thing is, with the new/digital media creeping into the print domain, I can only hope to see more strategy in how ads are executed on print. Last month when CBA launched its US Dollar currency credit card the placement of the advert to introduce it was poorly placed and not thought out, especially with regard to the audience of the Money pull out magazine from Thursday’s Daily Nation. To avoid being redundant see the post here

The long and short of it? The pullout is targeted at SME owners, and stories carried in the pullout, more so the cover story, was about how SME’s face an uphill task getting credit from banks. Now, how do you go and tell the same audience that you have a US dollar credit card! Ironic right? It’s like rolling up your Range Rover Sport’s tinted windows when a street urchin approaches you in traffic for him to see his own reflection.

So the other day I saw a series of strip ads by Bank of Africa (as shown below).

This strategy of using a series of strips reminded me of those done by Cooperative Bank first I believe, when they embarked on opening branches in different towns (see image below). The strips are placed in a manner such that, instead of  listing the new branches, why not split/divide them up to have every branch in each town carry a relevant, customized creative message to introduce themselves- brilliant right. I must say the copywriter outdid himself- how the headers complement the imagery and take advantage of the towns indigenous cultures to make the message more relevant.

I’m not sure what the strip at the front of the dailies go for (I’m reliably told its more than a half page ad within) and nor its impact- but I believe the strip ads within the newspaper are less cheap than a full page ad, are more strategically placed and they offer maximum visual impact.

See the BOA strips- they span across six pages at the right edge of the newspaper. The targeting of the bank was spot on- the SME and business owners who are looking for local and international business news with in depth analysis of local trade, investment, stock market, foreign exchange and commodity prices in the Smart Company pullout from Tuesday’s Daily Nation. A day that most, if not all, dailies in Kenya are dedicated to business news and analysis. One night argue that the strips add up to a full-page ads cost (due to space), but I’m seeing a scenario where the advertiser can negotiate for lower rates, and the fact that the editor is able to fill in editorial gaps.

It’s about time that ad agencies and media buyers identify creative and strategic ways to  exploit the print medium. I have selected a few ads that pass my point across in this sense and I believe our creatives’ can get inspired. Let me know if you are!

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