Submitted by: Jess Taylor 21/06/2016
Ogilvy & Mather London's Global Executive Director on the Gunn Report, Gerry Human, discusses the resurgence of creativity and the value of print advertising
"Print is still a highly effective and unique way to communicate with huge audiences"
How important is the Gunn Report to agencies?
The Gunn Report has been championing the link between creativity and effectiveness for years, so we owe them a debt of gratitude. For a long time there’s been an argument that tried and tested, formulaic work is more effective than highly original, creative advertising. It seems that the pendulum has more recently swung towards creativity. Organisations like Gunn have helped make clients aware of the great value that can be gained from creativity. Most of our clients actively seek out really creative, original ideas because they know they are much more effective.
Your ‘28 Too Many’ campaign against FGM was hugely successful. Why was print chosen as one of its main channels?
The objective was to give stature to the 28 Too Many brand. The campaign was so graphic and provocative that it was bound to leap out of the page and bring people’s attention to the issue of FGM. I think media people call that impact! Which is exactly what happened, so much so that the work was subsequently shared hugely across the internet and social media – nothing is just a print campaign anymore.
What’s the current reputation of print in advertising circles?
It’s a hugely respected medium. People dismiss print too easily, often because they haven’t actually nailed a clear idea. Almost all of our clients demand a ‘key visual’ as an expression of a campaign idea – essentially a two-dimensional image with some words alongside. If you can distill a message down to its essence then you know you’re onto something good.
Has print been undervalued as an advertising medium?
Of course traditional print has changed dramatically, but it’s still a highly effective and unique way to communicate with huge audiences. And it’s especially great at giving brands status and stature. So yes, it is undervalued.
What are the benefits of using print in advertising?
When brands are placed alongside carefully edited and skillfully curated content, such as in the great business, fashion and lifestyle publications, they are imbued with the same lustre or attitude as the host. When print ads have been well thought-through, they can be immensely powerful and effective.