In late-2012, I had a client, who was a cold name on my house file, buy six months of my time.
Worth it? Yes, but I’ve gotten a severe case of withdrawal.
So, for those who asked why I haven’t been posting, I’ll be more than making up for it with over a year’s worth of content.
I’ll also be tearing down and rebuilding most of my websites, including this one.
Here’s one of the better ones I’ve been sitting on for a while. It’s a 15 ad campaign in one PDF, which you can download through the link below.
In the 1980s, International Paper was locked in a no-holds-barred struggle with five major competitors whose products varied little.
International Paper set out to create a reason why customers should prefer I.P. above the rest, even if only for a feeling of the “warm and fuzzies.”
But can that translate to sales and customer loyalty, especially for a commodity product like paper?
The campaign — “We believe in the power of the printed word” — was a smashing success.
It was conceived by Ogilvy creative director, Billings S. Fuess, who relied on celebrities with credibility in education, like:
- Kurt Vonnegut: “How To Write With Style”
- Bill Cosby (before he became a TV sitcom superstar): “How To Read Faster”
- Malcolm Forbes: “How To Write a Business Letter
- Walter Cronkite: “How To Read A Newspaper”
- And George Plimpton: “How To Make a Speech,” among others.
While the ads were published under the bylines of these well knowns, it was Fuess who spent three to four weeks researching each ad and one week writing the first draft.
27 Million Requests for Copies of These Ads
The initial campaign targeted the 15-to-30 age group, mainly those in high school or college, under the banner of the “College Survival Kit.”
But as these two-page spreads gained attention from widespread insertions, I.P. was inundated with requests for copies of theses ads from all age groups. They later spun off the “Business Survival Kit.”
Doubleday was one of four publishers to put in a bid to publish a compilation of these ads after the fourth ad hit the press.
Can you imagine anything so crazy… print ads being turned into a book? 🙂
But the copies were swept up and out of print copies now sell on Amazon for $273 and up.
Most wouldn’t peg a paper manufacturer as the source of such ingenious product and brand differentiation.
It just goes to show there are countless ideas for creating a competitive advantage out of thin air.
(20-page, 4-megabyte PDF)