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Michael Scott, have you met The Printz?

Jul 1, 2011 12:00 AM


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How do you leverage social media to promote digital, offset, wide-format and photobook capabilities? Canada's TPH/The Printing, a quick printing specialist with 70-company owned locations, recently wrestled with this B2B branding challenge.

Teaming with Endeavour Marketing (Toronto), TPH launched a series of seven videos starring “The Printz.” This shaggy Nordic character — something like a cross between a Geico caveman and Conan the Barbarian — offers his fellow office workers non-sequitors wrapped around practical printing observations.

“We do these to stay top of mind and have some fun with our customer base,” says Marc Petitpas, TPH's vice president of marketing. “Hence the very awkward and funny soft sell. The response from our existing customer base has been tremendous — we've gotten some acquisition opportunities, too.”

Print does a body good

“If you think printing and paper are bad for our forests and the environment, you need to get the facts,” says Drew Berben, marketing manager, HM Graphics. The Milwaukee-based printer's “Print If You Love Trees” initiative “educates our business partners on the merits of print as a valuable promotional and communications tool and dispels the myths of paper and printing as being environmentally irresponsible,” says Berben. “Our message is aimed at our direct business partners for use in their personal and professional lives.” See www.hmgraphics.com.

Better than a pressroom reality show

A paper company using a video communications campaign? Sappi North America's Patti Groh explains that the comic “Off Register” videos are part of a multimedia strategy. Inspired by true pressroom tales, the clips promote Flo, a paper from Sappi's economy line. The videos are pushed out to printers and press operators via e-blasts. A companion brochure provides the back story on the designers, Kat and Ken; the press operator, Sully; and the salespeople, Hank and Rick. QR Codes on the promo piece further show how print can be integrated with digital media. In the latest installment, the Off Register team attempt to blame a delayed job on a broken press “fanatny rod.” I hate when that happens! See www.youtube.com/user/offregister.

These are just a few of our online friends. We are always looking for interesting companies and good stories.

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Coming next month

Leading digital printer

Equipment: Graph Expo preview

Business Boost: New W2P options