Despite the diminishing relevance of print among modern audiences, marketers retain a special place in their hearts for a witty ad contextually placed within newsprint.
The layers of trust the medium affords, and the implied effort in getting the comms on to the page, signal to readers a worthy message. Nonetheless, why are marketers so intent on branding their most reactive work on to what is supposed to be a slow medium?
Earlier this week, Asda communicated a new vegetable sale policy – comms that should put any reader to sleep, but didn't. Yet again, a print ad addressing a supply chain issue (looking at you KFC 'FCK') resonated with people.
Asda, Havas, and Spark Foundry ran the ’Romaine Calm’ ad below a news story detailing empty shelves and ministerial incompetence. Asda navigated the issue with a memorable pun that flowed from print into social and online, and which was earlier this week named The Drum Ad of the Day.
Speaking to The Drum, Daisy Bard and Orla O’Connor (yes, creative duos speak as one) revealed the ad took around 48 hours to turn around, prompted by a WhatsApp message from Havas executive creative director Dan Cole who identified the newsjacking opportunity.
The pair believe there is ”nothing more British than a cleverly crafted pun,” adding that ”they unite people”. Below said pun is some well-penned policy that would have died in any other context.
The duo explain: ”Comms like this that are reassuring are important and help to stem feelings of panic in fractious times. Getting the tone of voice right is important too.”
The campaign was a one-off piece, not weighed down by any other obligations or media plan. The pair, as a result, didn’t feel ”constrained” in how they executed it.