At an intern event in New York City this summer, I had the pleasure to meet and talk with many people working at Time Inc. Most of my conversations had to do with the implications of working for a historically print-focused company during the transition to new media. Jason Lidofsky, Executive Director of Video and Digital Product Sales, left me thinking about an interesting point that changed my understanding about this media movement. Over the past five years, the videos Jason and his team have been creating for Snapchat have drastically changed based on consumer behavior. At first, his team was producing 30- to 60-second video clips. But today, those clips have been condensed to just 5-7 seconds. Lidofsky predicted that soon, even one second would be too long, which is basically the same as looking at a static image. And if marketers are attempting to capture our attention by creating what is essentially an engaging and compelling picture, I guess we’re back to what print media advertising offers, right? Full circle we go.
As the attention spans of both Millennials and Generation Z become increasingly limited, the more challenging it is for brands to improve their strategies for marketing to younger generations. Luckily, for print media, there exists a greater attention capacity. It has to do with creating engagement, limiting distractions, and the functionality of the human brain. In fact, reading print is more effective and stimulates more brain activity, which helps readers digest material using 21% less cognitive effort than new media does. Read more on how print media drives consumer behavior.
I know people my age are supposed to seek Social Media and claim to want everything online, but what I really want is an excuse to put my phone down. While my life requires me to be online, this doesn’t mean that I have lost value in and no longer seek the remaining tangible items in my life. There’s something so refreshing about the experience of holding a magazine, a book, or even—dare I say it—a school textbook. It’s like longing for your childhood stuffed animal, an item that interacts with all of your senses. Print advertising effectiveness stems from this desire to hold and read something tangible in a world where everything is online.
Companies attempting to cut through the clutter may find it beneficial to take a step back. Seeing an ad in a magazine used to seem so cliché, but today it stands out. Print advertising is not dying, but making news again. The luxury that comes with reading print starts with the idea that a person is holding the actual item in their hands. Instead of having to click from link to link, and get lost scrolling through endless sites, magazines allow us to visually mark the progress we’ve made and physically interact with the content within its pages. When I see an ad for a new beauty applicator online, it can blend in with every other ad that I see while scrolling through my newsfeed. I notice digital ads, but most of the time that’s where the interaction ends. But when I see the same ad in a magazine, it’s almost like seeing the item in real life—I feel a greater sense of attachment and trust because of its tangibility. And let’s not forget that magazines excel at target audience marketing. When I grab my favorite fashion, fitness, or food magazine, I look forward to seeing the ads—I know they’ll be relevant to me and what I’m passionate about.
Of course, online advertising is so popular because it’s highly effective at reaching audiences. There are new targeting technologies being developed practically every day, and innovative ways to collect and interpret data, which help marketers connect with consumers online, on their mobile devices, and more. Research shows that adding print based advertising to your media mix is a powerful way to create comprehensive campaigns that surround the consumers you need to reach with messaging that resonates and inspires action.
So why not take advantage of the long-standing credibility and appeal that’s associated with print media? Reach out to our print media experts today!
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