On January 9, 2012
Comments (5)

As we try to spread the word about tenkara, advertising can be a powerful tool (though not nearly as powerful as you spreading the word to friends and family!). We only advertise in magazines that have introduced their readers to tenkara. Their readers will be more predisposed to knowing what tenkara is, and we can then drive our brand and reinforce the concept. Advertising in magazines that have never covered it will do little for tenkara.

Recently, I was creating an ad for the California Fly Fisher magazine, a large format, “tenkara-friendly” magazine in California . As I worked on a full-page ad, I placed a rod on top of its open pages. As it turned out, the rod was the same size as a spread! Taking a full spread on any magazine can be an expensive proposition. But, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to display a rod at “actual size” in its pages. It turned out pretty well. We’ll see now what the responses are like.

What do you think about the ad? What about print advertising in general?

Tenkara advertising at California Fly Fisher, actual size

Two pages later, our friends Ralph and Lisa Cutter of the California School of Fly-fishing, and tenkara-certified instructors, published their own ad. I really like the imagery and simple uncluttered design of their ad. Not quite a mountain stream, and Lisa still has a reel in her hand, but certainly mountain/backpacking territory good for tenkara.

And, their article on page 20-21 on “Winter Stuff” (clothing and layer suggestions for winter time fishing) is right on, and very educational. At the end of the article they talking about how “icing guides and frozen fly lines are the bane of every cold-weather angler” and “simply dunking rod and reel in the water…” I imagine the article was written pre-tenkara, as they probably realize there are no guides to freeze, no reel, and one can even keep his gloves on!

I took photos of these ads, so please forgive distortions, but thought it would look better than a proof of the ads.

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» Tenkara, Tenkara in the media, Tenkara industry » Advertisements
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5 Responses to Advertisements

  1. scosol says:

    Hey Daniel- I personally think that’s an awesome ad in the same way you do- the rod is actual size- my only thought if you’re continuing with this format is to have a simple ruler sort of thing under the rod, showing length and loudly saying “actual size”. That’s the kind of thing that would make me read the text :)

  2. It’s OK. The photos are good but I would have done the layout and typography VERY differently. And, in my opinion, there’s too much text (or too much text bunched together). The ad doesn’t really make the visual impact it should. It doesn’t come across as innovative or unique or tell the story of tenkara. If I were flipping through the pages of this magazine, it would be extraordinarily easy to pass right by it.

    • Would love to hear more on how you’d have done it differently.
      I thought of cutting a lot of text off, but at the same time I wanted to highlight the rod, I felt the need to educate people who may have wanted to read about it.
      Indeed as scosol mentions I should have more loudly said “actual size”, which I was shooting for with that text in the middle, but it was hard to ensure they would lineup well.

  3. DaxB says:

    The words, “Actual size” should be BIG and with an exclamation point. That’s the “hook”. It will grab people’s attention, and it is one of the best things about tenkara. Again, I am so happy to see tenkara growing! Thanks Daniel. Dax

  4. TJ Ferreira says:

    I love the old 60s VW full page ads. All white pages, small beetle picture with minimal text right in the middle, all driving off of the simple but practical and fun of owning a VW Bettle. I could see this style of effective simple ad working for Tenkara USA because of this simple yet fun form of fly fishing.

    The whole Less is More on a page will go a long way. Tj

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