How Stanley Won the 2017 SAMMY Award for Best Display Advertisement

Stanley Security combined humor with a serious message to deliver an award-winning advertising campaign.

It’s not exactly a dog-and-pony show, but Stanley Security did turn its display advertisement campaign into a dog-and-wimpy-workout-guy show.

Combining humor with a serious message, the juxtaposition proved to be a powerful message for the venerable security provider to grab attention for its Stanley Guard mobile safety and security response solution.

The campaign involved a full-page print ad and digital banner ads for increased exposure. It carries over Stanley’s yellow and black color scheme against a gray backdrop, and employs large all-capitalized sans serif font to be easily read and understood, explains Marketing Manager Brittany Dupree.

Of course, it’s the images that really aim to leap out at readers, in this case an unexpected and unique hero image of a tiny dog or workout guy spans a third of the ad, “instantly making the reader stop and question what the ad is promoting when flipping through a magazine or scrolling down the page of a website,” says Dupree.

That’s contrasted against the headlines, which after giving readers a chuckle make them question themselves and look to Stanley for answers: Is Your Personal Safety All Bark & No Bite? Is Your Personal Safety Tough Enough? (Or in one version, cautioning: Don’t Settle for Personal Safety That’s All Bark and No Bite.)

“When generating campaigns, we take into consideration the target industry and decision-maker in order to develop the piece to appeal to that specific persona,” explains Senior Director of Marketing Beth Tarnoff. “We focus the majority of our advertising on digital placements — we love the visibility on customer engagement that you can get when advertising digitally such as impressions/views, clicks, and conversions.”

In the digital versions, the hero image and questions are accompanied by a smartphone and the Stanley Guard logo to help drive brand recognition and offer recognition of mobile functionality provided by the solution. The larger print ad includes a brief summation of what Stanley Guard is, who it serves and what problems it solves.

Plus, it reinforces Stanley’s message as to why it stands apart from the competition through eye-catching icons: powerful, trusted, connected and supported; each followed by a few supporting words. Call to action on the print ad also stands out with the Stanley Guard logo and points to two URLs.

2017 SAMMY Winners: Read up on the rest of this year’s SAMMY winners here.

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About the Author


Arlen Schweiger is editor-in-chief of SSI's sister publication, CE Pro. He was SSI's managing editor from August 2018 to June 2023.

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