Despite the world where almost everything is digitized, print continues to thrive. While there is no doubt about the scope that digital advertising can make, print ads can still deliver with depth and leave readers with a lasting impression.
Take for example last year’s HIV-positive posters that Ogilvy Brazil created as an awareness campaign of Life Support Group – an NGO that fights for the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. Although digital copies of a poster with HIV-positive blood have reached people across the globe, they did not create as big an impact as the actual print ads themselves. The people who were able to touch the poster did so after being told, as part of the campaign, that HIV can no longer survive without a human body. In this sense, when the people felt it was safe to touch the posters, then the print ads served their purpose and the campaign achieved its goal.
Like the ad mentioned above, print, in general, can create a different experience for people when actual materials awaken their senses. Remember those scented flip pages in magazines to advertise new fragrances of the hottest brands? Or the reason why some people just can’t get enough of the smell of books, whether old or new? There are also people who would prefer feeling, flipping and writing on pages while others simply find joy in being able to hold an actual book or paper.
And who says only digital ads can be interactive? Print ads were here before interactive media became viral. Pop-up books or cards are still a delight especially with those tabs you can pull out to move a portion of the design. There are also particular ad materials made with cutout designs for readers to build specific brand symbols or images. The classic and once again trendy coloring materials for children and adults alike are also back on the shelves to address a high demand. And then there is that ingenious brewing company print ad which you can turn into a bottle opener, which is just perfect after you’ve bought a bottle from them. Another great one promotes solar energy by turning its black and white sketch into a colorful picture when you hold the paper against the sunlight. And there is also that unusual print ad you can eat made of glutinous rice flour.
However, print can also be appreciated not just as a stand-alone or as a stark contrast to digital ads. Its beauty can be magnified just as well when used together with digital technology. That greeting card playing a song when you open it is one popular example. With options provided at the end of a magazine page, another ad lets you change the color of the phone they are selling. And there is also a talking ad you can listen to by scanning a QR code printed on it. Indeed, print and digital ads do not necessarily oppose each other. If anything, the ads will achieve more when print and digital complement each other.
Here are other reasons why using print remains a very effective business strategy.
Print lets you focus on what is important
What the digital space boasts off is the unlimited storage it offers people. Using print, on the other hand, means dealing with a fixed amount of space and materials. This implies you only get to use a limited number of words and images to convey your message. And with this limitation, any print advertiser has to choose only the important details and information and discard the rest. Though this may initially seem like a hindrance, it serves well since many consumers nowadays prefer advertising that is direct to the point.
Print caters to a niche market
There are a variety of people who prefer being digitally plugged by turning their computer on at the very start of their day just in time for their daily dose of coffee. People expect the digital natives to comprise this group of digitally-biased individuals. However, they can’t be farther from the truth.
A study conducted by Pew Research Center early this year showed that a majority of Americans still prefer reading print books compared to e-books or audio books. And not only this, but there is also a fair share of digital natives who make up the number of people who prefer print over electronic copies of books and audio books.
Now, this may seem unrelated to print advertising since the data points to books. However, one major reason behind the preference is the capacity to arrive at a “physical map” in one’s mind and the ability to remember the details based on their text and page layout. Many researchers associate this finding with the comprehension of people. Hence, consumers are more likely to remember information from print ads compared to digital ones. And so, print advertisers and business owners can take advantage of this figure by targeting a market that prefers print over digital.
Personal touch works well with print
A part of the struggles business owners and anyone in the print advertising face is the constant challenge in creativity. They have to come up with working strategies that will influence people to read their ads to know more about a business and the products and services being offered. However, this is not a bad thing at all since it only means you become driven to produce ads that pique your prospective customers’ interests. It goes to show that your business will be on the constant lookout for what clients demand and that a personal touch or communication with your consumers can go a long way.
Any business thrives in the perfect combination of great products and services, eye-catching advertisements and promotions, and being one that values a customer’s input and suggestions.
All the examples and points presented in this article are proof of how print continues to thrive in today’s digital age. Much has been done with print ads yet a lot more can still be achieved. With a large amount of creativity meeting the right materials, print ads go a long way. There is still quite nothing like print.
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