“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them and sometimes it’s an ad.” These words came from the Mad Men-era ad man Howard Gossage and to this day perfectly capture the challenge faced by every marketer when creating a print ad.
While there is no question that print publications have been and still are struggling, the medium has still not lost its power to delight, shock and engage. What we are seeing is print finding a new relevance in a digital-first world.
Interestingly, a recent study conducted by Kindle revealed that people remember words better when they read them on paper. Readers on a Kindle were distinctly worse at recalling the plot of a book when compared with those reading physical pages. This is a powerful piece of insight for a brand when choosing where to place its marketing message.
The tangibility of holding words in your hand seems to amplify the sense of trust that an audience gets from printed material. The permanence of print serves to highlight the conviction of message behind it.
Print is often considered to be one of the most trustworthy forms of advertising, as seen in a survey conducted by MarketingSherpa. Just look at the number of brands that have turned to it to apologise. Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg chose print to say sorry for stealing people’s digital information while KFC used it to offer an apology for their chicken shortage.
In the past year, we have seen many brilliant print ads including Absolut and BBH London’s Kiss with Pride and DAVID Miami’s Don Draper-inspired Pass the Heinz, showing us that print as a medium should not be underestimated.