IMPROVEMENTS: The Guardian Crosswords App [Print Advert]

I saw and scanned this advert for The Guardian Crossword App (taken from The Guardian – Saturday 18th July 2012 – p.31) and wondered how I would go about improving it.

This print ad promotes the new mobile application from the newspaper publishers and has a simple call to action underneath the main copy: “Download from Google Play”.

To download the app, the user will have to grab their phone, type in the name of the app and scan through the search results before clicking, confirming and, finally, being able to enjoy the programme’s perplexing problems and puzzle packs.

Overall, the advert’s simplicity and general structure fits in well with the rest of The Guardian’s award-winning ‘The Whole Picture’ campaign from BBH, London. It is unclear as to whether the aforementioned agency also created this ad or whether it was made by a production house to fall within the campaign specifications outlined by BBH. Either way, Take a look at the ad below and below further for my modifications.

The Guardian Crosswords App | 2012

How I Would Improve It…

‘Make the image of the crossword puzzle itself a giant QR code.’

A pet hate of mine is QR codes being used unnecessarily but, given the fact that this is targeting smartphone users, it seems perfectly apt to utilise one here. Further, transforming the crossword into a QR code would offer reasoning for its great emphasis as the main focus of the image. Keeping the black detailing within the crossword would be nice to add a further dimension to the image although some of these details may need to be altered slightly to ensure that the advert would remain scannable by QR Code Readers (especially given the fluctuating quality of newspaper print which can bleed to leave many QR codes unusable).

Allowing readers to instantaneously download the product being promoted by using the placement as a gateway is of huge benefit to both parties as it is turns the ad into, essentially, a point of purchase promotion. It also self-selects the target audience with its use of interactional capabilities and is a way of increasing the number of downloads which is the pain purpose of this print ad.

I’d really appreciate any constructive feedback for these improvements. As an advertising graduate and aspiring creative planner, honing and refining what I do is extremely important. Please leave your feedback – good, bad and ugly – in the comments below.

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