The printing/YouTube saga continues

I never thought I’d see the day when printing got too hip, but I think we may be there. Just kidding. Actually, none of my table-mates at lunch here at Print Outlook ’08 had seen any of these videos.

I watched the “I love PIA/GATF” video earlier today, and I think the printing industry has probably now exceeded at least a few other industries in terms of hipness. It started with Pazazz Printing’s video that was campy but genuine and (with regard to printing) original.

Now we have another video. Longer. Less genuine. Less original. While I think it’s great that another printing industry player is gutsy enough to make another video, I think it’s maybe time to suggest a few guidelines to all those folks who are writing the next printing industry video:

1. Foul language is no longer shocking or funny. Bleeping it out actually makes it more obtrusive. Even Mike’s joke about foul language seemed a bit worn.

2. We’ve got one guy spreading ink on his toast and another kissing his printing press and sun-bathing under a UV dryer. Nobody is going to demonstrate a love of printing more than that. How about loving quality? Or customers? Or binding?

3. Less than four minutes long. At least no more than six.

4. We all love funny stuff, and what works best on YouTube is funny stuff. What’s really funny is something that people in any industry will understand. Even those yet to enter industry. A group of non-printers at my home roared at the scene in Pazazz’s video where the father asks the son if he’s done his printing exercises yet, and the son’s head drops out of embarrassment. Who hasn’t been nagged by their over-zealous parents to embrace one silly thing or another?

I hope we’ll see more videos. I hope we’ll see enough videos that folks outside of printing are talking about them, and see printing not as a dinosaur industry but a critical industry that’s in touch with current times.

More competitive intelligence in printing?

I’m at Print Outlook 2008 in New York City, and I noticed during Andrew Paparozzi’s presentation on commercial printing in 2008, based on survey results, that there were several themes revolving around competition. Print is more competitive than ever, and he stressed differentiation and not doing things just because competitors were doing them.

Will this drive an increased interest in competitive intelligence in printing? My experience is that this is one industry where CI hasn’t really taken hold, at least not in the same way as in medical/pharma and other industries. Perhaps as print gets more competitive and more dependent on innovation and positioning we will see a growing demand for CI in print.

Don’t think too hard about that video, Dr. Joe.

You know you’re out of touch when a friend sends a link to a YouTube video, which you forward to friends in the press only to find they’d covered it a week earlier. That happened to me a few weeks ago when I forwarded the now-famous-among-printers Pazazz Printing video to Adam Dewitz at PrintCEOBlog only to have him reply that they’d covered it more than a week earlier, and just what rock had I been hiding under?

What can I say? I have kids. I just moved. Work’s been busier than usual…and I’ve been out of touch. Ouch!

Anyway, Dr. Joe Webb wrote a short bit about it last Monday,(paid subscription required) that was generally not too flattering.

Lighten up Joe. It’s a YouTube video. It’s “New Social Interactive Media 2.5”. It’s all a grand experiment, and while the language and attendant bleeping was a bit tiring it was very refreshing to me to see a) folks excited about printing enough to make any video, or even a book with that kind of message, b) printing folks internet savvy enough to make the video and see any benefit to doing to, and c) a printing company president gusty enough to do it.

My parent company’s web site, qg.com, has an Alexa rank of ~622,000. Lower is better – Google’s rank is 2. My best-friend’s wife’s site, www.breakfast-and-brunch-recipes.com has an Alexa rank of ~250,000, just lower than whattheythink.com’s 270,000. QuadTech’s site (10 million), as well as that of it’s competitors (qipc.com = 8 million, gmicolor.com not ranked) are generally in the millions along with this blog (2.3 million).

The web doesn’t seem to be very strongly embraced by the “ink-drinkers” in general. I think things are changing, and it will be some day. In the mean time, I say applaud those with the gumption to give it a try who can show the rest it’s not fatal.