White Space in Print ads

I am thinking about print ads — specifically using white space in print ads. White space is critically important, especially in a cluttered world. Here is a good paragraph I found on NetMechanic summarizing proper and improper white space. A page with too little white space makes visitors feel uncomfortable because the page seems cluttered and hard to read. Visitors quickly get overwhelmed and move on to a more welcoming site. In contrast, pages with too much white space seem empty, as if there’s not enough content to fill the page. Visitors may wonder: "why bother with this?" and go somewhere else. ReminderAs you’ll see below, white space doesn’t have to be white. ExampleThe company that comes to mind for me, in terms of properly using white space in advertising, is Apple.  Apple’s print and TV ads are often loaded with white space to allow people to focus on the product’s design and the message. Below are some examples of Apple’s ads featuring a good use of white...

Marketing and the Guthrie, Part Two

In May, I wrote about the new Guthrie Theater’s advertising in downtown Minneapolis. After actually going to the Guthrie on two occasions recently, I thought I follow up post would be valuable. The past two weekends I went to the Guthrie Theater to have drinks; the first time on a Friday from (roughly) 9:30pm-11:00pm and this past Saturday from 10:30pm – 11:30pm. The first time I was there, the Guthrie was pretty quiet. There were roughly 8 couples having dinner while a small band played, and therewere about 15 others in the bar area of the Cue Restaurant (the main entrance to the Guthrie at night). The higher floors (4, 5 and 9) were also quiet, until a show let out. This past Saturday, there was less than 50 people that I saw in the entire building. There was no performance and it was Labor Day weekend, so a smaller crowd would be expected. The Friday before, there many people around once a performance let out. They were sitting around on chairs and sofas, while others were enjoying the view of the Mississippi or hanging out at one of the many bars. However, while the performance was going on, the Guthrie was, for all intensive purposes, empty. For a 285,000 square foot facility to sustain itself, it must generate alternative streams of revenue. Ticket sales help, but there are other markets to serve than those willing to pay inflated prices for performances. Alternative revenue will only come in the form of food and, mostly, liquor sales. The MarketingThe Guthrie is one of the best destinations in all of Minneapolis...

Marketing and the Guthrie

Earlier this week I saw an article on CNN about the new Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN. The article basically says that the new theater wants to draw people in see theatrical performances, but also to hang out drinking coffee at the cafe, eating at the fine-dining restaurant or drinking at one of the 13 bars. The reason for this post is not to publicize the Guthrie, but rather to critique their ads in downtown Minneapolis. Today, I was in the IDS Tower. I noticed a rather large, probably 7’x10′, print ad. Rather than breaking up the ad and showing the versatility of the building, the ad shows a theatrical character and says "The Guthrie Theater" in large letters. Maybe I am blowing this out of proportion a little, but the IDS Tower is one of the busiest in downtown Minneapolis. It attracts many business people that can afford fine-dining and expensive drinks. Also, it attracts visitors from out of town, but only during the week. These out-of-town visitors are great prospects for checking out the restaurant and bars at the Guthrie, since they are on expense accounts and want to experience the city during their stay. The Big Deal: Marketing is in the details. Customers and prospects do notice the nuances. While ripping the Guthrie’s marketing team, I do have to compliment their efforts for gaining placement on CNN’s Travel section. This may help their cause more than one print ad in downtown Minneapolis, but I would argue that they are two different...

Business Idea for the Taking

After driving roughly nine hours over the last few days I came up with a business idea that is free for the taking. In my highway driving experience, I’ve noticed that about 30 to 40 percent of the trailer parts of semis go unbranded. This is where the opportunity lies. The Idea: Rather than putting the trucking company’s logo on the trailer, the company should up-sell a banner or magnet advertisement to the company whose products it is hauling. This would give marketers an additional venue for advertising and allow trucking companies an opportunity to increase revenues. The Catch: One major drawback of this idea would be that companies that pay to advertise might receive negative attention if a semi was responsible for an...