7 Reasons Print Advertising Isn’t Dead

A collage of several words is seen, with "PRINT" being largest and boldest.

It’s 2024 and everyone’s online. Thinkpieces, pundits, and your friends all proclaim, no one reads anymore. Print media is dead, long live the internet! But is it?

The truth is, as always, a bit more nuanced than that. Of course, the internet is an always expanding space where more and more people are spending their time. All the same, there are plenty of compelling reasons to advertise in print. Here’s a look at 7 of the most significant:

  1. People Favor Print

It’s possibly the biggest reason that print advertising is still, and probably will always be, relevant. People simply prefer reading physical media. Despite constant technological advancements, looking at a screen still strains the eye more than looking at paper. In addition, studies have shown that consumers have higher response rates to print ads over digital ones. People are more comfortable reading off of a physical piece of print. They’re more likely to respond positively to them. More likely to view your ads positively, and more likely to retain the information. That translates to more effective ads and more potential customers.

  1. Direct Engagement

One of the major advantages of print ads is basically the inverse of one of the major advantages of digital ones. On the internet, ads grab eyeballs. They have to. You go onto a website, and if an ad doesn’t attract your interest the moment you see it, then you dismiss it, and it’s an ineffective ad. With print media, however, consumers grab ads. They are literally holding them. Whether in a newspaper or magazine or even a piece of mail, the consumer has already made the choice to engage with the ad when they start reading it. They are more likely to view the ad positively, opposed to online, where ads are more likely to be seen as an annoyance. In addition, when they’re reading the ad, they’re not going to be distracted by a bunch of other things on the screen. That gives your ad a higher chance of being remembered, and eventually acted on.

  1. Inherent Trust

Anyone can advertise online. It can be done essentially anonymously, from anywhere. There’s no system preventing online ads from being scams, and any system introduced would be quickly circumvented by scammers. People are mostly aware of this by now, and are guarded about online ads. They’re much less likely to be dubious about an ad that they read in a newspaper or magazine. It’s partially what’s known as the “halo effect”. A person is voluntarily reading a newspaper, which means they have trust in that newspaper. They read your ad in said newspaper, and because they trust the newspaper, they inherently trust your ad more than they would otherwise. But even without the halo effect, print ads are more trusted than online ads. Even mailers are generally considered more trustworthy than online ads.

  1.  Direct Targeting

Targeting is an important part of all advertising, but online, more often than not, it’s some form of indirect targeting. An ad is associated with something similar to the thing being advertised, in the hopes that someone who likes that thing will also be attracted to the ad. But unless you’re advertising band merchandise on that band’s website, for instance, it’s extremely rare to be able to directly target the appropriate demo. That’s something you can do with print media. You can directly target one of the most commonly relevant aspects of consumers: location. A restaurant can use menu mailers to let everyone know in their delivery radius that they’re open for business. A local newspaper can announce a grand opening downtown. Print has a unique ability to directly target relevant consumers, something the internet can’t replicate.

  1. Physical Persistence

Once you’re no longer paying for an ad online, that ad is gone. It’s been replaced by the next one. But physical ads persist. Perhaps it’s the aforementioned restaurant mailer gathering dust in the drawer. Maybe it’s an ad in a magazine in a doctor’s waiting room. Or just a newspaper passed from one person to another. Print ads stick around, and as such, they can keep being effective long after you’re done paying for them.

  1. Some People Aren’t Online

Despite what everyone is saying, including me, in the opening to this post, everyone is not online. Even in 2024, there are people who aren’t online much or at all. Older people, for instance, are generally more comfortable with print media. Rural populations, where internet access is often less reliable, are also more dependent on print media. There are large groups of people who simply aren’t online, or at least, aren’t online often. Relying on online advertising alone will miss them altogether.

  1. Mixed Approach is Best

The real biggest reason to advertise in print is that nothing is making you choose. It’s not a matter of which method you should use. The answer is both. Print advertising offers a number of unique advantages, but online advertising does as well. The most effective advertising campaigns are the ones that utilize their resources efficiently. By taking a varied approach, you not only cover more bases, your different forms of advertising can support each other. Someone who sees an ad online that they might have previously dismissed might instead be reminded of that magazine ad they saw, and now that they’re at their computer, this time click through. Or you can use print media with QR codes or websites on them. There’s no reason to limit yourself to just print or just online. Neither one is better, they’re just different. 

From business cards and brochures to packaging and beyond, Blue Moon Design create designs that capture your brand’s essence and resonates with your target audience. We understand the importance of effective communication and attention-grabbing design, and we’ll make sure your print materials stand out from the crowd. Learn more about our offerings and see some of our past designs here, or get in touch today!

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