in newspapers were always newsy and topical like the ad for
Champneys featuring a miserable-looking David Gower
(England had just been thrashed by the West Indies) with
the headline ‘I wish I was at Champneys’. Context is all and
I never saw any point in anything bigger than a page-
dominant size. People buy papers to scan news not look at
ads. Circulation is declining fast.
● Magazines – a totally different browsing world with a vast
choice of specialist titles. Most are so dense with advertising
you are really going to struggle unless your creative work is
very strong. But the good news is there are lots of
interesting ways of spending money and reaching pretty well
exactly whom you want.
● The web – it has its own chapter, of course. Just make sure
your web site works properly and through intelligent SEM
make sure you are in the right place on the page – near the
● Local newspapers – the underestimated medium. The
creative environment is often quite dull so standing out can
be quite easy. But be local, using local outlets or people as
heroes, if you are using the medium. Context is important –
exploit it. But beware rapidly falling circulation.
● Free sheets – I am a deep sceptic but check out the prices
and make your own judgement. There are some that are
excellent and many that are not.
● Local magazines – focus on the feel and the quality of
editorial; do not just rely on the numbers. I have always
been choosy about the company with whom I’m seen.
Don’t get yourself tied up with a goodwill gesture when
what you need is to save time and conserve cash.
● Local radio – I love it and think the real key here is not to
be just an advertiser but – if you can afford it – to be a local
84 bri lliant marketing
‘player’. Look at it as a promotional medium and see how
you can leverage your ‘presence’ as well as your campaign
● Posters – repeated because it’s like New York – a hell of a
medium.You can achieve really strong local presence too.
Advice: if you are focusing on a specific town make sure
you know where the best sites are. The best sites are where
people are waiting, at a station, in a predictable traffic jam,
at traffic lights.
● Transport – if you can do something really interesting with
buses or trains like RBS did with the Heathrow Express
then that’s terrific and expensive, and large sums can
disappear to small advantage; but for little money in
London, tube cards and cross-track can be absolute magic.
It’s one of the few chances to have people read your quite
long copy because there isn’t anything else to do while they
are standing and wishing they were still in bed. Marketing
to captive audiences is great fun too especially if you can
make them laugh.
● Events – easy to get swept up in the excitement and find
you are having a great time, but sales of your product
remain disappointingly flat. Be ruthless.You are there to sell
stuff so how can you turn an event to your advantage?
● Theatre/event programmes – generally advertising in
these should go in the social corporate responsibility
budget, if you have such a thing. A media man who was
excellent at his job said they caused him so many problems
in relation to the benefits they brought he made a rule to
● Videos/DVDs – brilliant for mailing to ‘warm contacts’,
these are the equivalent of film-letters and as such need to
be punchy, brief and full of life.You need simplicity, good
lighting, little distraction, your own people and a great piece
Where to advertise so it reaches the people you want 85