Sappi Ads See Life for Print

Sappi Fine Paper North America is expanding an ad campaign aimed at breathing new life into the print advertising business and helping it keep pace with the ever-growing broadcast media.

The “Life With Print” campaign features two direct response magazine ads that show print media as an effective way to communicate. Print advertising as a whole has been slipping while broadcast advertising has grown, and Sappi is trying to bolster print, said Jeffrey Pina, director of corporate communications for Sappi.

“It's creating a message for other companies,” he said. “It's recognizing that it's time to tell the print story.”

Sappi, whose paper is used in printing periodicals, catalogs and books, wants to provide a boost for the industry and encourage others to promote the channel, Pina said. Two trade groups, the Magazine Publishers of America and the Print Council of America, are building on the “Life With Print” campaign and devising their own efforts to support the print industry's brand, he said.

One ad shows a picture of a man reading a magazine on a park bench, under the headline, “The original laptop,” while the other shows a woman reclining on a couch, also reading a magazine, with the headline, “How can something that doesn't move be so moving?” The ads carry a contact number for Sappi as well as the company's Web site to “learn about the power of print and our complete lineup of papers.”

Sappi will measure the campaign's success by the number of calls and leads it gets in response, Pina said. The company also will survey subscribers to the publications in which the ads run to gauge awareness generated by the campaign.

The two ads are running in national magazines including Business Week; Fast Company; Forbes; Fortune; FSB; Inc.; Money; Newsweek; Sports Illustrated; Time and U.S. News & World Report. The effort began in mid-January and is a follow-up to a March 2003 ad campaign that focused on trade media, direct mail and industry events.

This campaign uses consumer media instead, Pina said. These publications reach consumers as well as business leaders and corporate executives, at whom the campaign is aimed.

The print industry has been criticized for not doing enough to market and promote itself, Pina said. It mostly has been left to individual companies to promote the medium.

“This is the first time I've seen a company-supported industry,” he said. “Usually, it's the other way around.”

Part of the problem is that broadcast media have devised ways to measure performance and present advertisers with concrete ROI on their ad dollars, Pina said. Print has been less successful at showing ROI, but direct mail is an example of how print can be used as an ad vehicle with measurable results.

Studies show that print and broadcast media used together in integrated ad campaigns outperform either medium used alone, Pina said. Also, the Veronis Suhler Stevenson 2004 Communications Industry Forecast & Report predicts a 4.3 percent rise in magazine ad spending in 2005.

Sappi Fine Paper North America is based in Boston but is part of a worldwide company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company has sales offices in 50 countries, clients in 100 countries and 16,000 employees worldwide.

Scott Hovanyetz covers telemarketing, production and printing and direct response TV marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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