Why Ads in Magazines Work:
Leading ROAS Medium

Melissa McGrath, Associate Director, Account Marketing

Don’t overlook print advertising: Ads in magazines still yield strong returns per dollar spent

Ads in Magazines Can be Just as Powerful as Digital Ads

Magazines have existed for 353 years and have been the go-to-source for leading content and captivating stories. We know magazines inspire consumers—they get your product, service, or destination into the subliminal consideration set—the ones we create in our minds, without really knowing.  When we start to plan and do research on a specific topic, your brand will come to mind because we’ve seen it in our favorite magazines.

Calculate ROI vs. ROAS

This is all great, but if you’re like me, you’re asking yourself, ‘Where are the hard facts that prove magazine advertising works?’ Our friends at Nielsen Catalina Solutions have answered just that. In a recent study, they found that ads in magazines provide the highest ROAS, yielding a $3.94 return on every dollar spent.  They analyzed 11 years of data (2004 – 2015) from 1,400 campaigns across seven industries, measuring ROAS across display, linear TV, mobile, digital video, magazines, and cross media.

Source: Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Multi-Media Sales Effect Studies from 2004 –Q4 2015. Copyright 2016 © Nielsen Catalina Solutions

Print Magazines Are Not Dead

As you can see, magazines lead with a $3.94 ROAS, followed by display at $2.63, which makes perfect sense. Magazines are notoriously known as an inspiration vehicle, with beautiful ads that readers look for and engage with in each issue, and display is the informer. The internet has become an incredible resource for time-starved consumers, and is proving itself to be a powerful piece of the media mix.


In a world with thousands of opinions and perspectives from the web it’s hard to know what really works.  Magazine advertising does, and there are hard facts to prove it.

sign up for our newsletter.


Let us know what you’re thinking about.