If your child is graduating this year, congratulations. Have you thought about purchasing a parent ad in the school’s yearbook? You know, the kind of ad where parents send congratulatory messages to their kids (for all to see).
Beyond the immediate impact of the ad when your student opens the book for the first time, your ad will likely bring a smile to your child’s face for decades to come when that dusty book is revisited.
Our son will be graduating elementary school, and we just finished our online ad-generation project for his yearbook.
Unexpectedly, my experience completely changed my perspective on parent yearbook ads. I realized that what you include can really impact the ad’s enduring value into the future. Here’s how to tap into that opportunity.
A More Complete Story
School yearbooks cannot possibly capture the complete story of every student.
I remember as a kid looking through my yearbooks for the first time and sometimes being disappointed that I wasn’t being properly represented in the overall story of the school year. Translation: I felt there weren’t enough pictures of me.
Perhaps that says more about my personality than the visual balance of my yearbook, but there will be inevitable imbalance in any school yearbook.
Back then, in the predigital age, it felt like ads were mostly confined to small businesses. So parents couldn’t normally impact a yearbook’s content.
But with today’s easy-to-upload online ad creation tools, parent-generated ads can offer the huge opportunity to rebalance the equation.
And just as importantly, your ad is a place for your content to likely live through posterity. (Everyone generally holds onto his or her yearbook.)
Beyond the option to simply congratulate your kid, you can also think of your ad as a place to document a few highlights of your child’s accomplishments and journey.
You probably don’t want to overdo it by writing five hundred words in a full-page ad. But there’s a definite opportunity to include some details that the yearbook editors may miss or wouldn’t know.
A Time Capsule for a Few Photos
The photos you include are probably what your child will immediately appreciate the most, but these included pics are special for another reason. That’s because yearbooks are time capsules of a sort, as they’re more likely to survive over time.
Among the many thousands of photos you take of your children, the truth is only a small fraction of them will likely last into the future decades. That’s because it’s difficult to maintain an endlessly expanding digital database of thousands of family photos.
I understand that now, and our son is only ten years old.
You’ve got to ruthlessly choose just a few pics as the ones you want to endure into the distant future. Then, ensuring they’re printed into a book is a solid way to protect their ongoing existence. (How ironic.)
So think of these school yearbook photos as possibly the only images of your child (as a kid) that future generations will ever see. (No pressure.)
On the bright side, you can also create a larger lifeboat for more of your digital photos. Simply generate your own annual family photo books to document your children’s stories.
There’s Always Next Year
It’s become clear to me that parent ads can be so much more than simple congratulatory messages. These ads should do their part to help encapsulate your child’s school experience.
If you’re feeling deflated that you didn’t maximize the potential of your ad this year, or even worse… you didn’t create one, don’t despair.
You’ll get another chance next year.
It’s Time to Create the Next Chapter
Capturing your children’s stories through photos and the written form is a gift for posterity.
Think of each school yearbook ad that you create as the next chapter in your child’s story.