Division B - Printed Tools of Public Relations
Category 14 - Other
Advantage Hunter CD Brochure
Mark Kellum, Scott Saylor, & Wanda Kenton Smith

Award of Distinction

Research/Situation Analysis: Hunter Marine, with world headquarters in Alachua, FL, is a premier builder of recreational sailboats and is a highly respected brand within the global Luhrs Marine Group. As a long-time client of Kenton Smith Advertising & Public Relations, Hunter Marine had customarily showcased its line of sailboats in two glossy, 48-page, coffee-book-style catalogs. Hunter Marine asked KSA&PR to reduce burdensome printing and postal costs of publishing these upscale catalogs, but still produce an attention-getting vehicle that would break through the clutter to reach their target audiences. Hunter Marine also wanted to develop a secondary show flier that could be produced economically and distributed more generously at boat shows nationwide to “hull thumpers,” i.e., interested sailboat prospects that weren’t quite ready to buy. Hunter dealers were guarded about widely distributing the expensive collateral catalogs; they told Hunter marketing executives that they wanted two separate pieces: 1) an impressive brochure tailored and targeted to the more qualified, serious boat buyer that was less expensive than the previous two coffee-book style brochures, and 2) an economical, yet attractive sales flier for the less serious prospect. At the same time, Hunter also wanted to significantly reduce its cost per collateral from its most recent $5 per 48-page catalog to something far more economical. Hunter marketing executives communicated their desire to bring printing costs down by a minimum of 25 percent—while not compromising on the quality of the final piece that would showcase the company’s leading-edge technological advancements and designs. KSA&PR’s creative team developed innovative design strategies and concepts that met the client’s criteria: there would be two category-specific brochures. They would be reduced in size. The primary collateral for the serious buyer would incorporate all the information, stunning photos and technical statistics on an Interactive CD packaged within the brochure. The CD would include spectacular running footage of select models along with Internet links to the Hunter Marine dealer locator. The KSA&PR team also strategically categorized Hunter Marine’s sailboats into three easy-to-access product lines, all under the “Advantage Hunter” company headline: Yachts, Cruisers and Trailerable boats. Each of these product lines would carry a small dedicated print brochure within a customized flap. A second flier for less-serious prospects would follow the same layout and design but would not incorporate the CD or flaps. It would be designed at the same size as the original, but exclusively feature product specifications and photographs. The overall look and design of the collateral would brand with the current advertising campaign to strengthen Hunter’s position in the marketplace.

Objectives: The three project objectives for the Advantage Hunter CD Brochure were as follows: 1) To reduce by at least 25 percent the printing costs of Hunter’s traditional 48-page coffee-table catalogs, which normally were produced at a cost of $5 per copy; 2) To develop and execute a concept for an innovative alternative to the catalogs that would work in both print and web-based formats for the 2007 model year that would gain broad acceptance from both customers and Hunter dealers for use in boat shows and dealerships; 3) To produce a second, inexpensive flier for the general prospect pool for the 2007 model year.

Implementation: After creative brainstorming sessions, the KSA&PR account team decided to do something that had never been done in the U.S. sailboat industry: produce the first-ever combination CD/brochure. They decided to dramatically cut from a 9” x 12” coffee-book style to a 5” x 8” brochure that opened
up into four panels. The opening panels featured the Advantage Hunter CD packed with great features normally found in the large-format catalog; informative copy; breathtaking exterior and interior photos of all of Hunter’s latest line of yachts, cruisers and trailerables. PLUS: the CD contained more appealing features for sailors that went far beyond the norm, by including exciting video footage of the Hunter sailboats on the water, and interactive website links enabling boaters to easily locate a Hunter dealer near them. Three other brochure panels were labeled; Yachts, Cruisers and Trailerables. Each panel pocket featured a mini-brochure for a quick-read synopsis of the features of each line of boats, with alluring photography of the sailboats in action and the key photos of interior living spaces and sleeping accommodations, all-important considerations to boat buyers. The breakthrough design effectively maximizes space to “Advantage Hunter.” When the mini-brochures are removed, a reader can view exteriors shots of Hunter’s latest lines of sailboats, plus find key sailboat specifications. KSA&PR also met Hunter’s objective to create a sales flier that could be economically distributed at boat shows to less serious buyers by using the same design without flaps and simply incorporating specifications and photography into the final design.

Evaluation: The Advantage Hunter CD Brochure met its three project objectives as follows: 1) The Hunter Marine CD Brochure was produced at a per-publication cost of $2.59, nearly 50% less than the cost of the expensive $5 per copy coffee-table style Hunter Marine catalog previously used. 2) The secondary, boat show flyer, devised by creating a simpler version of the original creative without the CD and without the flaps met its goal by minimizing creative costs and print costs, as the job ran on press at the same time. 3 ) The Advantage Hunter CD Brochure succeeded with both Hunter dealers and customers; Hunter Marine initially ordered a run of 5,000 CD brochures in October of 2006. Dealer demand and customer requests led to three separate re-orders to date, for a total of 20,000 brochure CD copies and 50,000 CDs. Hunter Marine Sales and Marketing Director John Peterson said on March 15, “Not only did this achieve our objective to reduce costs and create a breakthrough design that resulted in a great deal of buzz within our industry and among our customers, but we found that the CD actually boosted our search engine placement.” He confirmed that Internet research indicates that Hunter Marine “has bumped up 25% in the (search engine) rankings in the past several months since the CD distribution began. Our customers are using the CD and their linkage to our website has been noted through search engine placement.” Hunter Marine has yielded “the highest search engine ranking utilizing sailing keywords, all without any pay per click or other online advertising” of all sailboat manufacturers, a fact Peterson directly attributed to the recent successful distribution of the Advantage Hunter CD brochure.

Budget: $51,895 for agency creative design and copywriting fees, and this fee includes the photography shoot for 20,000 Advantage Hunter CD brochures. The per-publication cost was $2.59 per Hunter Marine CD brochure, nearly 50% less than the traditional coffee-table catalog, which cost $5 per publication to produce. The cost was $12,900 for an additional 30, 000 copies of the CD, including replication and design fees. Dealers have also enjoyed the ability to distribute the Hunter Marine CDs alone at a cost of a mere 43 cents each.