Three Ways Print Advertising is Staying Alive

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You might think that print advertising is totally obsolete in the year 2015, and that digital communication has taken over the advertising space completely. Think again. While television and internet ads are often livelier and have the potential to reach many more people immediately, print still has its place in modern society. In fact, 76% of small businesses prefer a marketing strategy that combines both print and digital communication. How is print advertising keeping itself alive? Here are three reasons:


While the act of distributing information digitally is less costly than distributing advertisements physically from a purely logistical perspective, a lot more goes into creating digital media and relaying it to the masses than you might think. For instance (and this is an extreme example, granted), a 30-second ad slot for the Super Bowl last year cost about $4 million. Of course, the Super Bowl is a special occasion that only occurs once a year, but even still, televised commercials and online advertisements aren’t cheap to make or distribute. A business must invest a decent amount to get these types of ads out there with the hope that they’ll turn a profit.

But let’s say a smaller business can’t afford such an investment and must rely on different methods of advertisement. Fortunately for these businesses, printed advertising (such as outdoor signs) isn’t all that costly. In fact, outdoor advertising costs an average of 80% less than television advertising, 60% less than newspaper ads, and half as much as radio ads. And there is no shortage of printing companies and services to help with things like large format printing, banner printing, and more.


You might see a new commercial with a funny punchline or an obscure visual style. It will grab your attention, no doubt. But after the third or fourth time you’ve seen it, chances are your mind will start to block the ad out and wander to more important things. You might even forget what the commercial was for in the first place, only remembering the absurd jokes within it.

Compare this waning reaction to something you can witness in real life, such as a banner ad in the sky, a company logo painted onto a blimp, or an advertisement wrapped around a car (48% of those polled agreed that car wraps were the most unique type of advertising out there). These ads are tangible and somewhat unexpected, whereas digital and televised ads are commonplace and repetitive. Large format printing can make a large impression.

But beyond the sheer noticeability of these unique ads, there is also something to be said for receiving advertisements in the mail. Most people like the feeling of receiving something individually (even if the same ad is being mailed to every other house on your street). Indeed, 62% of Americans and 63% of Canadians say they enjoy checking their mailboxes, and a majority of them prefer direct mail for brand communications because it allows them to read the information at their convenience. Taking your own time to read an advertisement naturally results in more engagement.


But businesses must do more than just grab a potential consumer’s attention. They must keep their brand alive in the minds of those people. With digital ads, companies must rely on repetition in an attempt to make consumers remember their product. But with printed and physical advertising, a business can keep its brand right inside your home. Studies show that 84% of Americans retain a company’s name when it receives promotional material from it, such as calendars, flying discs, hats, and so on.

So while large format printing and snail mail might seem out of
date, their usefulness and effectiveness cannot be underestimated.