Can you think of a time when you realized things weren’t as they seemed? That situations are complex and solutions that are one-size-fits-all often fall short? When considering if a digitally-savvy generation responds to magazine print ads, this is one of those times.
As a Millennial, I entered the workforce facing the assumption that because I was searching for a role in communications, my primary talent must be in seamlessly navigating social media. Well yes, I do like social media, but I also love print. I studied communications at an engineering and technology university and worked in a paper museum on a famously techy campus. I’ve always had an affinity for both print and digital, and question the assumption that younger generations aren’t interested in print.
Skimming through the pages of a magazine is like having the content of Pinterest at my fingertips—without the endless scrolling and only the mild risk of a paper cut. Like knowing the writing style of a favorite author, I reach for a magazine because I like the feeling of familiar curated content. I even like the smell and the feel of paper. Sometimes, I can remember exactly where on the page of a book I saw a paragraph of interest, unlike when I am reading something on a screen—online words seem to blend together in my memory. It turns out there’s a reason why the brain remembers paper learning better—it engages multiple senses, including the sense of touch. A study by CanadaPost and TrueImpact shows that paper-based media requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media, and when participants were asked to cite the brand of an advertisement they had just seen, recall was 70% higher among those who were exposed to a physical piece (75%) vs. a digital ad (44%).1 Research has even found that when a print ad is compelling enough, it can create a false memory of having tried the product.2 How’s that for virtual reality? Learn more about the advantages of print advertising here.
Though print and digital may seem separate they are constantly colliding. Digital brands launch magazines like Airbnb, Digiday’s Pulse, and goop. IKEA created print catalogs that seamlessly integrate digital and print, with pages that can be scanned with an Augmented Reality app to view how a piece of furniture would look anywhere in a home.3 It makes sense that the delivery of a consistent message across multiple media channels can improve consumers’ purchase intent by 90% and brand perception by 68%. In the upper funnel, combining desktop and print raised campaign-aided brand awareness by 96%. In the lower funnel, a combination of mobile in-app, TV, and print emerged as a very strong driver of greater brand consideration.4
Print and digital enhance each other. There are metrics that prove it, and it makes perfect sense when you consider what media consumption looks like. Is it evolving? Yes. Is there competition? Yes, as there should be. It’s about bridging identities and consumption patterns; meeting the consumer where they are and engaging them. Millennials aren’t that elusive. I respond to mediums with engaging and accessible content whether it’s TV, digital, print, or something else.
How will you customize your approach to relate to me?
1. CanadaPost and TrueImpact
2. Dooley, Roger. “Vivid Print Ads Change Your Memory”. Roger Dooley. May 31, 2011. Accessed March 22, 2017.
3. Co. Design. “Ikea’s New Catalog Magically Transforms Into Furniture”. August, 2, 2013.
4. “Cross-Media Ad Effectiveness Study.” IAB-Empowering the Marketing and Media Industries to Thrive in the Digital Economy. January 13, 2017. Accessed March 22, 2017. https://iab.com/insights/cross-media-ad-effectiveness-study/.
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