College 2011 mailer from Target includes more than coupons

Target Mailer to 2011 College Students

Target hits the mark in three areas

I don’t typically write about advertisements. But this one deserves the spotlight. The design, the content and the practicality of this mailer is perfectly geared toward my age group – something that I don’t find very often even in newspapers. The heavy weighted paper is also a sign that Target didn’t skimp out when they created this project. It’s a nice bright white, giving the colors a rich and pleasing tone.

1. Content is engaging and pertinent

One of my favorite aspects of this ad has to be the content. SEO (search engine optimization) specialists have already got this one figured out: good content attracts good customers (and gives better ranking to websites). I don’t see many print ads use quality content very often attract customers. This ad does.

Target mailer 2011

The content I’m referring to includes a series of six short blog-style articles peppered throughout the mailer. Written by college students, for college students, the articles offer advice on how to manage your time at college, organize your space and keep in touch with family. It’s great to see content written by peers, especially since the topics are both practical and fun to read.

2. Checklists and coupons are useful

Flip open to the front page and top of page 2 has six brightly colored columns dedicated to the college 2011 checklist – all items sold by Target, of course. But what do you expect? It’s an ad, after all. And if you want to build your own checklist, Target has an easy online layout that lets you shop and build your own personal checklist.

Target 2011 College Mailer

Scattered throughout the mailer, Target included other lists of advice and short words of wisdom from college students who have survived this particular stage of life. I’ve no doubt parents will eat this up just as much (if not more) than their children.

So sure all this is fine for freshmen who still don’t have a clue about college. Target didn’t forget the large population of students returning to college, though. Flip to page 13 and you’ll find 20 coupons, many of which I plan to utilize. Parents and students have reason to appreciate this mailer from Target.

3. Targets audience with appropriate design

Okay, love the design. The colors are bright and perfectly reflect the current trends in college dorm decoration. Page spreads utilize the space well without overcrowding, so it is far from the typical Sunday ad.

Target 2011 College Mailer

And while the prices are easy to locate for all items, they aren’t emphasized. The products stand forefront and are arranged topically. So the page on how to organize your space includes products such as shelves, over-the-door hangers and bed stands to make the most of space under the bed.

Target 2011 College Mailer

Well, that’s all for now! I’m just very grateful to see an ad target my age so well. It was fun to read through and gave me some great coupons.

I hope to cover this a little more in the future, but we’ll see.

Later! Riah

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Why your college newspaper should be redesigned

Personal Update

I know, I know. It has been almost a month since I last updated this blog. But, believe me, I have a very good reason for being tardy. Not long after my last post, I applied for a web copywriting internship at a marketing company near my hometown. And guess what! That’s what I have been up to for the past few weeks. I couldn’t be happier, too. This internship has been an incredible opportunity to learn more about corporate writing and develop my writing skills through constant practice.

Because I end up spending almost eight hours a day writing, I’ve found it very difficult to come home and find more time to write. It has also been difficult to find time to work on the Collegian redesign, but that’s also been combined with technical difficulties. So here I am, enjoying the summer by doing what I have come to truly enjoy, writing. Don’t think the redesign won’t happen, because it will. We may just have to be a little creative in accomplishing it.

Why your college or university newspaper should be redesigned

And I would encourage you to consider redesigning your newspaper too. Perhaps you’ve noticed, but the world changes very quickly; design does too. There will always be new trends, new styles and new perspectives. In everything else in life beside newspapers, dictionaries and obituaries, it seems the design is updated regularly. Even cookbooks and the Wal-Mart brand go through redesigns.

Resist change, get left behind

For some reason, journalists tend to resist change when it comes to their occupation; but I think we’ve seen enough in the past nine years to know that unless you are willing to be flexible, you will get left behind. That doesn’t mean I advocate taking on a new set of values; on the contrary, hold tight to the truth and to your determination to serve the people, but consider being flexible in your presentation. So many newspapers are still so very far behind when it comes to design and technology. As a result, the entire field of journalism has suffered.

Newspaper design says a lot about your newspaper’s identity

If you believe that actions speak louder than words, then consider this: the way you present the news may speak louder about your newspaper than the very articles you write. Your newspaper front page design does matter. And so do the inside pages and every last detail. The way you present your content also says a lot about your newspaper’s identity. And maybe it’s time you created a new identity for your newspaper that matches your audience. Redesigning your newspaper can help you accomplish this.

If you’re a journalist and you still disagree, consider this:

If you’re a college student studying traditional journalism, research graphic design and learn more about page layouts. Believe it or not, this will help you develop better content. When you have a better idea of how your content can be presented, your mind will be broadened to greater possibilities. Give it a shot. You might actually find you enjoy page layout.

If you’re a graphic designer, you already agree…BUT!

If you’re a graphic designer, try to understand journalists and the world they come from. Write a story or two so you can see what it takes to put together the content you so often wish you had. When designing a page, it’s easy to see the content and visual opportunities a journalist missed. With writing experience, though, you will be better able to offer advice to journalists when they are working on a story, and they might even listen.

Just do it

And now that I’ve ranted to you about redesigning your college newspaper, it’s time I check out for the night and brainstorm some more ideas for my student newspaper.

Live long and prosper!