What makes a good print campaign? 3 Ad Execs from the UK, France and Germany list their favourites

Published 27 April 2020
Last month, we chatted with three ad execs from London, Paris and Düsseldorf on the state of print advertising in Europe. Despite the digital hype, our trio maintains that print is still an essential piece of the media mix that holds its place in the minds – and budgets – of advertisers throughout Europe. This month, we continue to explore the world of print advertising as our people name their favorite print campaigns in recent years. Read on and find out what separates the best from the rest!

An interview with Jessica Smith, Strategy Director for Grey London, Hamon Hedayati, Managing Director for GREYmedia Germany, and Régis Boulanger, Executive Creative Director for Famous Grey Paris.

Jessica, Hamon and Régis, what novel techniques have you recently seen in print advertising that have piqued your interest?

Jessica: “It’s not so much a technique but we’ve definitely seen a huge uptick in the use of recycled materials. This is one area where paper manufacturers really have a chance to step up.”

Hamon: “Embellishment techniques such as varnishes, hot and cold foils and embossing have surged in popularity. I think another thing to look out for is the emergence of augmented reality (AR) in print campaigns.”

Régis: “These days, brands increasingly combine print and digital into one seamless experience through mobile technology. Often, you see consumers invited to scan a poster or a magazine in order to access interactive and animated content. AR is without a doubt one of the most interesting new developments in recent years.”

What role does paper quality play when it comes to print campaigns?

Jessica: “Paper quality is definitely a key issue – especially with high-end brands. In terms of visualization and making the ad feel special, the impact is tremendous.”

Hamon: “This really depends on the client but overall, the quality of paper has increased in recent years. Luxury brands, especially, like to see themselves in exclusive, high-quality environments. There, paper quality plays a huge role in getting the tone just right.”

Régis: “Print can’t really compete with digital over speed and efficiency, so the medium relies on quality and prestige. With print campaigns, choosing the right type of paper is paramount.”

What are your favourite print campaigns in recent years?

Jessica: “In London, commuter magazines and commuter papers do really well. Here we’ve seen some very crafty applications with wraparounds that utilize the entire front and back cover.”

Hamon:Deutche Bahn’s Summer Ticket campaign and Stabilo’s Highlight the Remarkable come to mind. Both communicate a simple, yet effective idea marvelously through interesting visuals. The two campaigns work especially well in print as the photo quality and stylistic elements really get to shine.”

Régis: “I think McDonald’s last year’s home-delivery campaign here in France really hit the nail on the head: a simple idea communicated effectively through stunning photography.”