Married To A Creative Idea

Published: 02nd March 2010
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Small ideas can turn into great things - if you can get creative enough to get noticed. A small company in Northeast Ohio had a brainstorm idea for a very unique product. The concept was tested and was very successful, but reaching the target market was difficult. The primary target market was newly engaged couples, who are ONLY newly engaged for a short period of time.

The product was a custom map designed to be inserted into the invitations. The map was a cartoon style map, unique and unlike anything on the market. Each was custom designed and the package included the roads, landmarks, contact information... everything that was needed to get the receiver to the wedding and reception in style. Here is how they managed to reach their target market very simply, very inexpensively, and with an unheard of degree of success:


1. Timing was a major issue. How do you reach a target market that is ONLY a target market for a very short period of time? They decided to place the smallest display ad possible in the most widely circulated bride's magazine on the market. The magazine was 350 pages, distributed nationally, and was LOADED with full color, full page ads.

2. This created a second problem - how can you compete with full color, full page ads when all you can afford at startup is the smallest ad possible?


1. The solution to reaching the target market was small display ad placement. The solution to the problem of advertising competition in the same publication was... small display ad placement! All other ads were full color, most full page. Many contained beautiful photographs, testimonials, and filled every inch of white space with SOMETHING. They decided to do the exact opposite and solve the problem with a simple creative design solution.

Their ad would be 1-1/2"x2", black and white. Although their ad was small they DID NOT utilize all available space, instead opting to leave a white space around the entire ad as a border. Within this white space they bordered their ad with a dashed coupon-type line. A very small image of a map was placed at an angle going over and outside of the dashed line on the bottom left corner to the very end of their actual ad space.

The ad was extremely simple - the image, copy reading "Get Your Family & Friends There in STYLE!", and a phone number and email address.

The entire concept was to do what everyone else WAS NOT. If they are going full color full page, the smaller creatively designed black and white ad will be the one to capture attention. So they hoped.

They placed the ad and waited, and did not have to wait long.


Within two months they received 3,200 responses, of which 24% bought the entire package. Of those 24%, 65% added additional option including more roads, more printed maps and more landmarks.

They decided that since they now had their target market right where they wanted them, with each map they completed and sent to the buyer they included a flyer for custom "Just Married Signs". Of the customers who received this flyer with their finished maps, 13% also purchased the custom signs for the day of their wedding.

The graphic arts company proved that thinking creatively and doing what no one else is doing can not only be less expensive, but extremely profitable.

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