The power of print at a glance:
- Advertising on a trusted platform like press helps consumers build “a deeper understanding of a story”
- Print can sometimes be that point of difference that helps advertisers stand out in a crowded marketplace
Have a look at the February 16 issue of The Irish Sun and you’ll notice the Births, Deaths & Notices section of the paper looks, well, a bit strange. Not only was there just one birth to 70 deaths, every last one of them – whether “slashed repeatedly with machete blades” or “shot dead at point blank range” – was a white rhino.
Thank (or blame) Dublin Zoo for the two-page print ad, which never would’ve surfaced were it not for a chat between Rothco art director, Jonathon Cullen, and his sister-in-law, who just so happens to be the marketing director at the zoo.
“Over dinner she mentioned the upcoming rhino birth and Johnny said, although he understands the zoo doesn’t do much advertising, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to put a flag up and tell people about something remarkable. So that’s how it started,” says Rothco’s executive creative director Alan Kelly. “With a dinner conversation.”
It’s a deceptively simple conceit. One that takes advantage of the audience’s familiarity with the form, and one that isn’t traditionally populated with advertisements. So rather than go big on bells and whistles, Rothco settled on an execution erring on the subtler side. And the approach makes total sense, in light of a growing anti-zoo sentiment.