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Illustration by Lidia Lukianova, SF Bay Area


 Why its worth to read & share this Blog post:

1. drupa 2012 was a milestone for the future of print.
2. Most of the points we identified in 2012 are still valid!
3. Print Buyers# needs were not yet fulfilled.


Spot 1 

“The next big thing” — Print in the communications mix

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen set important accents: The booth in Hall 1 trumped with the installation of five real-printing facilities. Printed materials of all kinds were produced in real terms – from data processing to finished products. All necessary equipment had been specifically tested in advance to enable them to deliver top performance. Next to this it showed what hybrid productions can look like: Inkjet and offset printing in the mix, toner-based digital printing and offset printing in combination with online and mobile applications, as well as displaying significant perspectives and taking a futuristic look at “Printed Electronics” in the Innovation Center of the Heidelberg booth. It became apparent that print in the communications mix is extremely important, if not central in an indispensable role.

Xerox made its mark in automated production in both commercial and packaging printing, as well as within the range of XMPie in cross-media approach. Particularly impressive at Xerox was the way it has created a way of bridging the gap from print to social media and cloud printing. Many others can also be named, and what could be seen with other exhibitors such as Canon, Konica Minolta, Ricoh, and Xeikon. Xeikon just stunned with its never-ending drive for innovation, which portrayed this relatively small player as an outstanding inventor. The drupa innovation park and lots of small ’Hot Shops’ impressed on around 130 stalls, with their innovations. My personal favorite – thanks to Bernd Zipper for the tip: cardolution from Vienna showed how it is able to integrate RFID chips into cardboard and offer NFC Business Cards for everyone. The chip transmits the address information from printed business cards correctly onto smartphones.

In this sense, drupa 2012 was a great success, marked by a few dozen prominent exhibitors who could prove that print has an unbroken power of innovation. Small drawback: The papermakers were barely visible. This is a shame. Sappi was as a premium brand, for example, represented by three smaller stands, but it was not clear what Sappi’s added-value drupa message was. The same goes for digital printing paper market leader Mondi. There was a presence at drupa, but probably more devoted to the contact to technology developers instead to the market of buyers. The exception was UPM in Hall 6, which focused its presentations and displays on both commercial and newspaper customers, as well as the end-user with a very strong environmental message added.

Spot 2

Change in Business Communication approach — Consolidation amongst media professionals

It is amazing and worthy of consideration, because this has been at drupa on this scale never before: The number of members of the press has declined by about 3,000 from 84 countries in the year 2008 to 2,400 from 75 countries in 2012. This is followed by the number of members of the press exactly the trend of sharp decline in visitors (minus 20 percent compared to 2008). Regardless of whether the media coverage of drupa 2012, quantitatively or qualitatively, have been better or worse, the reason should be scrutinized. Because traditionally it was always important for a drupa, to include professional competence as a media partner. It appeared however that press tasks are redefined, and in fact the view of many exhibitors will be to use trade magazines only to serve as a PR platform for exhibitors and their trade fair offers. Journalists are in short supply and tend to be stylized as claqueurs.

The trade fair Drupa Daily newspaper also reflects this again, because as of Haymarket on behalf of Messe Düsseldorf in the circadian rhythm-driven, advertising-funded print and online project, everything was worked up, that happened during the drupa 2012. But what could be the added value if the day’s events have been rumoured — and nothing more? In addition, all that was relevant was made via Twitter and / or YouTube by major exhibitors and analysts immediately publicize themselves. And of course, concise comments. For visitors and decision makers this could offer enormous advantages, since one could learn just about Twitter quickly and concisely in a direct digital path. Provided you know how it works! Talking digital: The drupa app for smartphones and iPad by Messe Düsseldorf disappointed, because only simple queries were possible, and it delivered no added value compared to the printed exhibition catalogue. That could have been done much better with a little extra effort.

Spot 3

A great step forward — Technology vendors are publishers and broadcasters in one!

A new feature with signal effect: Canon Switzerland produced on behalf of Canon Europe, a whole series of world-class professional interviews, created in high-quality TV style of its own Canon web-TV team. Very well done! Compliment! HP, Konica Minolta, Xerox, and Landa, newcomers, as well as many other smaller exhibitors demonstrated as well, their social media power. A visit to press conferences at drupa was thus in principle obsolete. What was presented at a conference for the representatives of the press was, at the same moment of the conference, published by the press conference organizers themselves on the web. To attend press conferences is only worthwhile, therefore, if you made a point to be entertained in an intelligent way, such as EFI CEO Guy Gecht did, or wondering / annoyed by Kodak CEO Antonio Perez, whose arrogant appearance, where self-perception and reality seems to collide with his company.

An inevitable effect: Those drupa exhibitors who publish multimedia self-invest none or hardly any money in professional advertising. The advertising revenues presented have so far been the main source of of income for specialist media publishers. This may explain why the number of press representatives declined so much. Many print journalists are really annoyed about the digital competition and keep Twitter & Co. for the devil. And drupa exhibitors have (still) not demonstrated that they can use social media effectively in the interests of customers and prospects. Too many use Twitter, for example, to take over their PR agencies, the ghost-writing on Twitter. The result is product-related communications push content. But Twitter users are interested in smart conversations — they don‘t like push-PR messages very much.

Spot 4

Print trade shows in trouble — Missing the end customers (print buyers)

Unexpectedly, was not the sharp drop in visitors and media representatives at drupa 2012. Messe Düsseldorf had indicated in advance that around 350,000 and is no longer, as once expected, the nearly 400,000 visitors. And it was hoped that from the Far East, and especially from China, that many new visitors would come from this region but there were “only” just over 310,000 visitors (the exhibitor staff, journalists, VIP’s not included). Many exhibitors were upset. They said that a record number of visitors is less important. More important is to get the right visitors to come, i.e. the decision makers and prospective buyers from the graphic arts markets. This has worked. Sales exceeded some expectations. All in all, sales revenues in the region of 2 to 2.5 billion EURO are likely to be implemented at, or immediately following drupa 2012.

drupa Was the drupa 2012 a success or not? The answer is yes and no at the same time! Yes, because it was found that innovation lies in the printing and paper technology development. No, because the efficacy was limited to the drupa industry insider. For more than a decade it has become clear that the fate of the printing and paper industry is no longer decided by printing and paper specialists, but by their customers and the market players in the online world. If they lock them out at drupa, the pace of innovation and adaptation in the communications market will weigh too rapidly from print. A look at the bigger picture beyond would have been useful — but remained well below or were not properly pursued. This show other important German trade fairs such as the automotive mega-show, IAA, or the Frankfurt Book Fair on exactly how to permanently overtakes success: The industry participants are always there together: from makers, to visitors and customers of all kinds. This is exactly what was needed, but was omitted from the drupa 2012 in Dusseldorf. Too bad!

Spot 5

WANTED! — Link to the communication specialists in the market

It is regrettable, however, that the drupa 2012 was unable to fully exploit its potential. For many years drupa does not adequately represent important groups of visitors, especially the so-called “print buyers”, the principal of printers from agencies and enterprises / brands. Drupa 2012 should have been able to inspire and motivate a lot of print buyers, more than ever before. Documents can be this simple: I myself had a few dozen print buyers and decision makers come from agencies and businesses to drupa 2012 – for example, in cooperation with the GWA. GWA drupa special interest day on 9 May 2012. GWA is the leading agency association in Germany. Through the Bank’s enthusiasm for present agency employees was huge when they are properly involved. To get the right knowledge, what is at stake, and how to profit from technological innovations in the communications business.

The exhibitors visited by GWA — Heidelberg, HP, Xerox and exhibitors and i. e. map specialist locr in the drupa innovation park   had been well prepared and adjusted to the print buyer. HP GSB‘s global marketing director Francois Martin, it could be, for example, do not take to prove with facts and creative prime examples of how the marketing and brand benefits from digital printing productions. For example, when BBDO individualized for the client Smart in Paris, an out-of-home campaign with 2092 posters, it scored much attention and in less than 14 days had produced posters in the main streets of Paris.

How can the fact matter that drupa 2012 was not an attraction point for agency and brand representatives on its own? The drupa cube was made by Messe Duesseldorf with daily events to major application issues. But the total of 1,000 participants or so in 13 days, presented in terms of the size of the communications industries employ was only a drop in the ocean. In Germany alone, nearly 800,000 professionals work as communications professionals. In this respect the drupa participation was in vanishingly small per thousand range.

In addition, the carrier of drupa, led by the German Engineering Federation VDMA and the German print association groups have a very narrow focus: They address only techies and printers out of their memberships. They are not linked to the communication specialists in the market. Say the established contact structures are directed to those target groups, offering the classic technologies of printing and paper sector or common printing services.

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Illustration/Key visual by Lidia Lukianova, SF Bay Area
Text/editorial work by Andreas Weber, Value Communication AG

Believe it or not: We made it! It took almost 20 years. But now we touched a historical momentum. For the very first time, an international conference ended successful and highly effective to demonstrate the fully impact of state-of-the-art digital printing technologies on all dimension of creative communication services. 

What happened: HP Graphic Arts and GWA as Europe’s leading association of communication agencies showcased in Barcelona the road to sustainable innovation. By invitation only, 70+ executives and creatives from eight european countries joined the ”No Limits: The Art of Innovation“–tour to Barcelona. A range of first class speakers presented first class case studies and shared their insights and knowledge.

The approach: HP and GWA shared with us how technology, creativity and marketing brains fuse together to drive the art of innovation. The only limit: Attendee’s imagination!

The status quo: HP is committed to innovating every day. With the broadest portfolio of graphic solutions, HP delivers print innovation in all aspects of print, from postage stamps to building wraps. Printing digitally both drives production efficiency with added benefits for the environment and allows us to customize content and interact with other digital medias. Digital print means flexibility of content; flexibility of content means relevance; relevance means results. There are endless possibilities for brands to better connect with consumers where physical and digital worlds meet.

”The Art of Innovation day is about sharing ideas and stimulating innovation. Which is why we brought you together with industry leaders who are actually making things happen“, said Simon Addinall, HP GSB EMEA’s market development manager, who planned and managed the event.


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The challenge: Technology and knowledge has never changed faster than it is today. GWA therefore developed the online education program, Need for Brains. Experts and technology leaders like HP share their knowledge with Need for Brains scholars and present innovations in planning, programming and producing advertising material. Knowing the technological changes and using them for their clients ́ business will be the major competitive advantage for advertising agencies. 

The main results: In fact, the future of communication campaigns will be hybrid, always combining Social Media and Digital Print! — Alistair Campbell, Executive Creative Director at Agency Republic, London, hit the point by answering Andreas Weber’s question ”Is what we talked about today already mainstream?“. Alistair stated: ”No, not yet. But it will be quite soon!“ — By the way: Alistair is smart enough to know what he is talking about. Agency Republic was awarded five times in series as the „Social Media Agency of the Year“ in the UK.


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Case study: How to innovate a global brand

  • Share a Coca-Cola, Share the Best Summer Ever!
  • By Marit Kroon, Marketing Manager Central and Southern Europe, Coca-Cola

This summer will be unforgettable for millions of Coca-Cola fans in Europe as Coca-Cola invites consumers to engage with the brand in a new, exciting and very personal way. For the first time in Europe, we are replacing our iconic “Coca-Cola” script with 150 of the most popular consumer names in each market.

The idea is brought to life by challenging several rules and stereotypes in marketing, soft drinks, packaging and digital print industries. Over one billion cans and bottles of Coca- Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, and Coca-Cola light — including multi-packs — will carry the names, in a feat of system-wide logistics and hi-tech product personalisation.

In Europe it actually means covering over 30 markets with over 40 languages and culture groups. We have created over 10,000 artworks, featuring over 3,000 different names. For those who can’t find their names on a pack, the “Share a Coke” campaign is also brought to life online, where personalized virtual Coca-Cola cans can be created and shared with friends. Consumers will also be able to visit roadshows where they can use a customization kiosk to print their own name on a can. Using the power of people’s names and the joy of sharing in a playful and social way, the campaign inspires people to join new and existing friends, enjoying a “Coke moment” by sharing one together.

Launching the program with these amazing labels and strong marketing support after 18 months of hard work makes us feel very proud about changing the mind-set of hundreds of marketing, finance and packaging specialists, and challenging our suppliers to innovate together with us.

“Innovation is creativity that generates value. It is a mind-set driven by curiosity, crazy ideas and business skills that makes it all happen. Innovation is nota program that can be switched on and off.”

Marit Kroon, Marketing Manager Central & Southern Europe, Coca-Cola

NOTE: Please read as well our Value Marketing Check for additional information.

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Case study: How to enrich agencies creative approach:
All Hail the Digital Color Queen

This is the story of how HP Indigo technology enabled Pantone to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee with Her Majesty the Queen — by Blake Waters & Will Thacker, Creatives at Leo Burnett, London

Having a fun idea is only half the battle; realizing it is always the most difficult part. After sitting on one of their fun ideas for around two years – making a Pantone Swatch Book of the Queen, known for always wearing the color blue – Leo Burnett creative duo Will Thacker and Blake Waters seized their chance to make it real: The Queen’s Jubilee. Despite a few bumps along the way, ranging from seeking Buckingham Palace’s approval to meeting some ultra-tight deadlines, they were able to do just that – with a little help from HP digital printers.

See video documentation as well.

“Looking at what we have. And imagining what we could have. Thinking this is good. But it could be better. Squinting your eyes and seeing things that others don‘t. Turning the world sideways just so you can look at life from a different angle. That‘s innovation.”

Blake Waters, Creative, Leo Burnett

“Changing something for the better. The everlasting expedition for new ways to look, touch, even experience something. Innovation has the power to change opinions, and even lives.”

Will Thacker, Creative, Leo Burnett

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Case study: How to change agencies behavior:
Sustainable Innovations in the Field of Production

By Steffen Gentis, Chief Production Officer, BBDO Germany

We are the lucky ones who get to experience the very brief and fortunate episode in human history known as the fossil-fuel economy. In the near future oil and energy supplies will not meet demand, which makes this is an opportunity for those who can change early.

But our assumptions often stand in the way of achieving such sustainable innovation. The way to sustainable innovation is by actually measuring – not just assuming. The interesting insight is all the other gre- at stuff that comes along with sustainable change.

“Innovation is about exploring ideas and inventing ways of adding value
in a better and sustainable manner. Innovation is an on-going process that demands initiative, ideas and an open attitude to change.“

Steffen Gentis, Chief Production Officer, BBDO Germany

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Case study: How to change agencies business model and strategy:
How Integration of Targeted Direct Mail WORKS

Intuitive Relevancy and Other Animals: Leveraging Psychology for Direct Marketing — by Richard Perry, Managing Partner, Founded

Personalisation is one thing, relevancy is everything. How we use consumer insight and buyer behaviour to guide consumers to purchase is vital in driving consumer transactions. Combining online and offline techniques allows marketers to create not only better experiences, but also much better results.

We showed you a recent campaign and ROI details from a ZipCar acquisition campaign. ZipCar is an hourly car club that was purchased by Avis for $500 million in January 2013.

“Innovation is a cultural outcome, not just a creative one.“

Richard Perry, Managing Partner, Founded

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Case study: How to lead agencies to hybrid communication (Social Media & Print)

The Power of Personalized Print in Social Media
By Alistair Campbell, Executive Creative Director, Agency Republic

While the rise of digital technology and social media may not have instantly seemed like an opportunity for the world of print, the ability to create one-off, personalized, printed products with very short lead times has opened up a whole new area of engagement for both digital agencies and printers alike. Doing so rewards fans of brands by putting something unique and tangible into their hands. And takes digital and social media far beyond the screen.

Best-in-class case: Nivea. Users could create their own wrapping paper to use Nivea products as a gift. See: video documentation as well.

“Innovation is being prepared to take a leap of faith.“

Alistair Campbell, Executive Creative Director, Agency Republic

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Case study: How to innovate print

No Limits: The Art of Premium Printing
By Tatjana Müksch, Marketing & Christopher C. Mickelthwate, CEO, dygy gmbH, Frankfurt am Main/Germany

One of the major changes the commercial print industry is currently facing stems from the evaluation of customer data and cross-media applications. Targeted, individualized and multilingual print runs of up to 100,000 are becoming more and more standard for medium-sized businesses and brands.

To meet their markets’ demands, digital processes are already the norm in the mass-mailing and photo-book print industries but premium and luxury brands must be persuaded to use digital print techniques.

Many premium brands desire and need to offer outstanding, highly-differentiated products. HP Indigo technology, with various possibilities of substrate choice and ennobling capabilities, allows them to combine traditional quality and innovation — giving them that „distinct taste“ the market longs for today. Transforming intangible customer data — gathered at diverse touch points of current premium brands — into tangible, individualized, high-quality prints is complex, fast and fascinating.

Therefore future commercial printers must become more of a consultant than a pure technician, functioning as a partner to agencies, marketers and producers. The impact of interdisciplinary teamwork within the planning and printing process does, by all means, result in great applications and innovative concepts.

“Traditionally, any innovation starts with a change of perspective. In the information era innovation is merely a technical term. Innovation takes place where engaged people use even the flimsiest, uncharted space of freedom they have to make new perspectives visible.“

Tatjana Müksch, Marketing, dygy gmbh

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Case studies by HP EMEA Graphic Arts Experience Center

HP shares unique applications from around the world, including L’Oréal, Heineken and Kimberly Clarke. — by Marcelo Akierman, HP

L’Oréal case study

“No tangles” is an important promise in the children’s hair care category. But to impart L’Oréal Kids’ shampoos with even more must-have appeal, the company wanted to redesign its labels in North America.

Partnering with Disney, L’Oréal produced limited edition, shrink-wrapped bottles with themes of newly released children’s movies. The only snarls in the project were ensuring the label colors and quality were top-notch, which flexible digital printing made possible. HP Indigo was the natural choice.

The Challenge

Provide L’Oréal Kids’ shampoo labels that stay up-to-date with the biggest children blockbusters. And do it quickly enough to meet the shelves in time and maintain the characters’ original colors.

The Strategy

L’Oréal turned to Sancoa International Company L.P. in Lumberton, NJ and its HP Indigo digital presses. HP digital presses are ideal for unique production demands.

The Results

“We thought digital would be too expensive for our long run lengths,” a L’Oréal representative said. “While there was a per unit price increase, when we did a cost/pricing analysis, the total system cost was better than traditional processes. What’s more, we got the quality we needed, and our lead time was cut dramatically, so we achieved faster delivery times to market.”

To leverage the possibilities of digital printing, L’Oréal extended the line to include a series of products with Car Story and Madagascar characters. They are also using a multi-channel marketing approach to boost interest in the shampoos. And they have set up a special website ( where children can register for a sweepstakes and see a trailer from Toy Story.

“Innovation is about challenging the status quo to get a WOW effect out of it.”

Marcelo Akierman, HP

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Case studies by HP EMEA Graphic Arts Experience Center

No Limits: The Art of Sign and Display

HP presents graphic solutions power to unleash creativity and relevance in sign and display — with new opportunities and innovations for cutting-edge localized campaigns — by Simon Addinall, HP

The Challenge

– Connect with French drivers.
– Communicate benefits of Smart car’s

subcompact size.
– Reflect the spirit of the car: fun.
– Execute the campaign in 15 days.

The Strategy

– Create a series of outdoor versioned bus shelter signs that communicate with humor the problems related to the city, neighborhood or street in which they are displayed.

– By using an online app & SoMe outreach, enlist the community to contribute content for these versioned messages.

The Results

– Over 8,500 individualized posters in 10 bold colors placed in 26 cities

– Hundreds of press articles & TV appearances

– Expanded to include car wraps, retail window decals, print ads and user- generated content from a Facebook application

  • Numerous accolades for the campaign — Increased traffic at showrooms and on website

“Our customers never stop innovating. Neither do we.”

Simon Addinall, HP

Further Information:

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