Seizing the moment by using real time print adverts to create deeper reader engagement

Submitted by: Jess Taylor 06/01/2017

Tactical or ‘real-time’ ads are traditionally the preserve of digital media, but with new printing technology and shorter lead times, brands can now take advantage of print’s deeper engagement levels to run last-minute ads that can have an effect for years. To read the full article, see below.

It took Mindshare Norway just three hours to create an amusing tactical newspaper ad responding to criticism of its client SAS. By acting swiftly, the agency turned a negative story into a piece of positive PR for the airline.

A Tactical Game
Press advertising has traditionally been seen as ‘slow’ old media, while digital has been the place for real-time advertising. But new digital printing technology and shorter print lead times has allowed newspapers to run fast-turnaround ads hooked on the latest news stories. This is boosting the effectiveness of press ads by giving them a topical flavour, which amplifies their messages. Tactical press campaigns are on the rise across Europe. In the UK, news stories with a positive flavour have served as hooks for quick response ads.
Football has proved one of the most popular areas for tactical ads. Before last summer’s Euro 2016 tournament began in France, an eye-catching series of timely images helped French charity AIDES promote safe sex with the help of couples painted in different countries’ flags alongside the slogan ‘Make Love, Not War’.

Grab your chance
Of course tactical campaigns must, by their nature, be used sparingly. Their power derives from their topicality and the strength of association with the event concerned. Media buyer Steve Goodman, believes that newspaper publishers should do more to promote tactical advertising in their papers. Deadlines vary according to the section of the paper where an ad may run, but if tactical ads can be sent over to the newspapers by close of play, they can make the next day’s print run. As for cost, Goodman doesn’t believe that they are necessarily more expensive.  Tactical press ads allow brands to grab the reader’s attention by forging a connection with the events that make the news. Expect to see more in the years to come.