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Print advertising refers to an ad campaign that is printed on a tangible medium such as a page of a magazine or newspaper. Marketers working on print advertisements need to approach them with care, because they can be costly. A bad print advertising campaign can tarnish a brand's reputation and waste a lot of advertising dollars. Cluttered pages, inappropriate content, lack of color and typos can all lead to a bad print advertising campaign.
One common cause of a bad print advertising campaign is clutter. It is important for creative minds to remember that a print advertisement is not intended to contain as much information as an article or a television commercial. Some of the best print ads have one central photo; a large, catchy headline; and then a few lines of clear and concise product information. Using too many photos in one print advertisement or writing an excessive amount of ad copy can make the ad look messy and unappealing. Long blocks of content also can make readers become bored with an advertisement or lose the focus of the ad's main message.
It is important for marketers to consider the appropriateness of their campaign idea when creating a print ad. The magazine that will run the ad and the magazine's target audience can play a large role in what type of content is acceptable. A company that is making an ad for a bra may want to run the ad in a woman's relationship and sex advice magazine, as well as a more family oriented magazine. While women who need to purchase bras may read both of these magazines, the readers of the relationship and sex advice magazine will likely respond more positively to an advertisement that is a little bit sexy or funny. If the same sexy, funny ad is placed in a family oriented magazine, marketers can run the risk of offending consumers.
Color plays a big role in determining what makes good print advertising versus bad print advertising. Black-and-white advertisements rarely have an appropriate place in a full-color magazine. The ad will look awkward and out of place. Sometimes newspaper ads can be done in black and white, but it is important for marketers to remember that a black-and-white ad will blend in while a colored ad will stand out. When making a colored advertisement, companies should use bold colors that are easy on the eyes.
Typos can definitely lead to bad print advertising. While Internet marketers usually have the option of correcting typos, magazine advertisements are permanent once they go to press. It is vital for many different people to proofread the final copy of a print advertising campaign before publication.
I have a few designer friends in advertising firms and their number one complaint in a print ad is bad typography, comic sans being the worst.