How Print Is Producing a Distractionless Advertising Revolution
January 31, 2017

In today’s world, it’s the norm to be distracted by eye-catching, witty and sense- assaulting ad campaigns. Advertisers have been programmed in recent years to think that distracting ad campaigns on digital platforms are the only way to increase sales and brand awareness. But here at Ink we know that’s not necessarily true! For example, we know that when audiences are inflight reading print media, their attention grows considerably. Up to 50%!

This approach to aggressive digital advertising has created an increasingly resistant breed of consumers who shy away – and even shun entirely – digital advertising. In offline mediums like print, radio and TV, advertising can be consumed in a less intrusive way. You cast your eye casually over an advert in a newspaper, let the catchy jingle you heard on the radio become an earworm for days after, or smile at a heart-warming advert during the break of your favourite soap. At its worst, digital advertising prohibits the user experience, preventing audiences from enjoying what they’re trying to consume by blocking their way, or by flashing up when they’re trying to visit a website, for example.

At Ink, we know that advertising in print is a whole other story. They’re actually accepted as part of the magazine reading experience. Advertising partners are carefully curated and ads themselves are part of the reading experience. Ultimately, consumers see them as part of the magazine experience!

The ads in print can have an aspirational, escapist capacity with exotic locations, beautiful people, plush interiors. Magazine adverts specialise in presenting an audience’s dreams and desires, and who doesn’t enjoy that?

A reason put forward for the enduring success of print advertising is that the experience of reading a print luxury magazine simply can’t be translated to the digital medium.

Nicholas Coleridge, international president of Condé Nast said “It is very hard to replicate the physical allure of a luxury magazine on other platforms”. “It’s something to do with the sheen of the paper, the way that the ink sits on the page, the smell of money and desire that wafts off the page. Readers move into a different mode when they engage with a glossy magazine. Advertisers understand this.”

People also approach magazines when they are looking for visual stimulation, so magazine advertisers reach consumers at their very best (or their most vulnerable, depending on your angle). Whether they are travelling long haul on a flight across the Atlantic or on a short train journey, passengers are looking to be entertained and mentally spirited away. This explains, in part, why 87% of magazine readers focus on the content!

Whilst reading a magazine consumers aren’t watching a programme or browsing the internet, they are dedicated to the print experience. A significant percentage of readers will consume the advert, the product, brand etc. and this reflects in awareness, sales and word of mouth buzz.

And we know all this, how? It’s not just a hunch, we have evidence to back it up! Check out our recently commissioned Flight to Remember research, where we showed that audiences’ ad recall improves 50% when inflight.

So, if you, your brand or product are looking for a way to reach open and engaging customers then print advertising should be a part of your marketing mix.

[This article originally appeared on]

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