For most of the UK, on both a personal and professional level, Christmas 2020 was something of a damp squib. The festive period is crucial for brands in a wide variety of sectors, and the impact of the restrictions last year were palpable. In 2021, retailers and other businesses need to be poised to maximise a scenario that, for many, will feel like the first ‘proper Christmas’ in two years.
With this in mind, print media can offer a fantastic opportunity when used to its full potential. When it comes to planning and producing campaigns, here are some thing to be aware of for print advertising and media for Christmas 2021:
Choose the right materials
It may seem like a technicality, but the materials you use for your print campaigns can have a significant tangible impact on the overall effect of the graphics – regardless of the type of installation. From window signage to floor graphics or even towering banners, choosing the right substrate (the material the ink is printed onto) is crucial.
This is something your print provider should be able to advise you on – a good provider will have a wide range of substrates available for any scenario (at PressOn, we work collaboratively with our clients to identify the best material for their specific requirements) but it’s good to have an understanding of what boxes your substrate will need to tick.
How durable does it need to be? Is it likely to receive scuffs or other damage from heavy levels of footfall? Is environmental impact a significant concern? These – and more – are all things you’ll need to think about. If in doubt, speak to your project manager!
Consider unusual installations
For brands and businesses who want to make a memorable, lasting impression, a less ‘out of the box’ solution could be a good choice. This year, Christmas shoppers won’t just be shopping for gifts and food, they’ll be shopping for the immersive experience retail can offer, and the brands that go the extra mile to make an impression on consumers are likely to reap the rewards in terms of both sales and brand equity.
Standout media installations can include things like tension fabric frame boxes and banners, escalator branding, as well as media printed to unique or unusual materials such as mirror-surface substrates. These types of projects require specialist equipment and expertise to produce, and while PressOn produce these types of graphics regularly, it’s important to ensure you discuss the details with your provider to ensure you get the results you want.
Make print part of a wider campaign
With so many different advertising channels available to brands and marketers, it can be challenging to know how to align your campaign and media collateral for the greatest impact. With digital out of home also now increasingly available, it can be tempting to pick a single channel and invest your budget there.
Our advice to brands considering how best to make the widest impression possible is to think about how print can be used to supplement and complement your other marketing effort – tangible, tactile print can have a strong emotional impact on the consumer, particularly around Christmas. If you’ve produced video or other types of media, consider investing in a print campaign using the same creative, to increase the number of touchpoints and types of media your customers are exposed to.
Transform your physical premises
While print might be one of the most effective advertising mediums, it can also serve another, highly impactful purpose: aligning and transforming physical spaces into immersive branded environments. One of the most important things for 2021 will be providing shoppers and consumers with an ‘experience’, and print can play a large part in this.
Installations including one-piece wall graphics or 3D tension fabric frame solutions can work in tandem with more traditional print such as window or floor graphics, and the complementary effect can create a more memorable impression for visitors, clients, and customers.
With the range of modern printing technology and capabilities offered by print suppliers such as PressOn, there’s almost no limit to the extent and nature of the installations brands can create – which is sure to make for a very memorable Christmas this year, particularly in environments such as shopping malls.
Choose a print supplier carefully
This may not directly relate to your media itself, but the choice of print specialist a brand makes is one of the most important factors in a successful campaign. On the face of it this might seem obvious, but when making the decision as to which company to use for your Christmas 2021 printing, a few factors stand out as particularly important considerations – and some of these will be more important depending on the nature of your installations.
Time is always of the essence, but never more so than during the festive period. With everyone vying to get their print media in place quickly, it’s crucial to have a frank, clear conversation with your supplier about the timeframe they can work to
What other festive campaigns has the printer worked on? Have they installed prints similar to yours before, are they familiar with the location you’re in, etc? Ensure they really understand your requirements
Machinery and equipment
Be sure to discuss substrates with your supplier – the better their machinery, supply chain, and experience, the more options they’ll be able to offer when it comes to materials. This could mean the difference between a unique, memorable campaign, and a ‘run of the mill’ set of graphics. Can the supplier print to mirrored material, for instance? Are they able to print directly to rigid boards if required?
Similar to experience, but specifically, does the supplier have the knowledge to manage your project in a seamless, efficient way? Do you get the sense they really understand your requirements, and are you confident in their ability to foresee and navigate any specific challenges that could arise? You need your supplier to take the stress and challenges of the print project off your shoulders, and the best specialists make their clients’ lives a lot easier.
2020 might have been a memorable Christmas for all the wrong reasons, and it’s fair to say that we’re not out of the woods when it comes to the disruption caused by the pandemic – but in terms of print, and printed media specifically, there’s plenty to indicate it’s going to be a much brighter year. We’re excited to see all the campaigns that brands are installing, as shoppers are welcomed back to festive retail environments in what feels like far too long.
If you’re looking to make an impact with your printing at Christmas in 20201, the team at PressOn are always happy to help. Feel free to head over to our contact page, or give us a call – our project managers will be happy to work with you to bring your festive concepts to life.