Whatever your campaign objectives, whether branding, product launch or an ongoing awareness campaign, one common denominator is that you want your ad to get noticed.
Here, Amanda Alexander, managing director of B2B media planning and buying specialists, WHICHMEDIA, offers ‘inside information’ on space buying strategies to ensure that your campaign hits home.
Naturally, when planning an advertising campaign, there are a number of variables you need to consider: the message, the creative, and of course, the media you choose. Media planners spend hours analysing magazines and poring over circulations to ensure the right media for clients’ campaigns.
But once these key areas have been fine tuned, how can you plan your campaign so that it has maximum chance of being seen, read and then hopefully acted upon?
Engage your audience
The planning process of any advertising campaign must involve deciding how best to engage your audience within budget. Each sector will demand a different approach. A campaign targeting a niche sector would not need to be as creative to achieve ‘stand-out’ as one targeting, for example, IT directors who are bombarded with trade titles, each cluttered with large adverts.
Creative execution will inevitably add to the impact but so will the size, space and positioning you opt for. Clever and unusual advert formats can make the world of difference, using an element of surprise to grab your audience’s attention.’’
Strip tease to seduce your target
Why not consider a series of clever teaser adverts – in eye-catching strip format – on consecutive pages leading to, for example, a full page or double page spread? If the creative and message are correct, building intrigue and suspense, this execution can create huge impact and grab readers’ attention.’’
For maximum impact, a strip which wraps around the front cover and is tipped to open onto your double page spread, is one of the best ways of ensuring your advert is noticed. Great for launching a new campaign with a bang: readers open the title and it falls open at your advert, meaning they literally can’t avoid seeing it. Do negotiate on price though, as this option can be costly.
Gatefolds for gold
If your message requires some explaining, allow yourself space for the key points to breathe. Gatefolds - usually off the front cover - allow for impactful creative, as the page opens out to reveal either a three or five page message. Popular in consumer titles, this option can be invaluable for business to business as it’s unusual and really shouts presence, conveying the message that your business is a serious player.
Tip-ons – a tip-off for unparalleled impact
Tip-ons of everything from CDs to pull out Z-Cards or memory sticks or – if the size and weight is feasible – a sample of your own product can be a fantastic way to encourage top of mind awareness and trial. Publishers are happy for some creative license in what can be attached to the cover of a publication, as it adds value to the issue for their readers.’’
Booking two half-page vertical adverts on the outside of a double page spread can be hugely attention grabbing. As the central content of the spread is editorial, it’s likely that readers’ attention will linger on the page and they will subconsciously absorb your advert as they scan from left to right – as well as being hit by the stunning creative, of course. As with other formats, don’t simply book this space for the sake of doing so - the creative message must fit.
Light a spark with the Fireplace
An unusual and creative approach, which works well in A3 publications, where an A4 size is taken in the gutter on each page leaving a fireplace shape of editorial surrounding your advert . Creating excellent ‘stand out’, this option usually requires plenty of lead time and an accommodating editor!’’
Premium positioning is, of course, an important way to ensure high visibility. Opt for inside front covers, outside back covers if budget stretches to cover this, as both provide impact and if the publication is left lying around the office, are still on display.
Within the title, an early right hand page within news or feature editorial is seen as the Holy Grail, as readers’ attention tends to linger on articles they find interesting. However, there is always debate about left and right hand pages, so there’s no hard and fast rule.
Generally, an early page would be considered preferable to later on in a magazine, but it’s vital that you understand the magazine and, of course, your market, as some magazines are read from back to front, and this would naturally affect your decision.
Don’t simply let the publication decide where to position your advert. You’re paying for the privilege of advertising, so make sure you make the most of all opportunities. With this in mind, ensure that your advert is solus on a spread if you are buying a half page, as you don’t want it fighting for attention with another advert.
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