The Movement to Bring Back Print in a Digital World

Racepoint Global

By: Alexandra Bruce – Senior Media Planner

As a 26-year-old millennial, some of my earliest memories were playing computer games on a Windows 95 PC. My generation has a unique relationship with technology because we were both growing up parallel to each other. Millennial’s began using technology at a very young age; however, it has become more and more ingrained into daily life as the years went on.

With the growth of the digital landscape, digital advertising has become bigger than ever, and US advertisers will collectively spend $120 billion by 2021.  Investment in paid search, display advertising, social media advertising, online video advertising and email marketing will pace to 46% of all advertising in five years (Source: Forrester).

While the digital world is increasingly important, I believe there’s still something special about holding and engaging with a printed magazine or book. Could it be because almost everything we do these days is on a screen of some shape or size? Probably. All things aside, I’m more likely to give attention to an advertisement that’s printed on a physical sheet of paper with real ink, than something lost in my daily shuffle of technology.

All industries have different needs, objectives, and audiences, but one thing remains consistent across the board – brands want to engage with and capture consumers’ attention. With that being said, attention spans are shorter than ever and retaining an audience at scale is certainly becoming increasingly challenging.

A few brands made strides towards incorporating unique print ads into their media spend in 2017, and in my opinion, this will continue to grow as we head into 2018. Toyota for example, featured a 30 page flip book animation in The Fader, which displayed the C-HR circling around the page number a few times and then trailing off the paper. This fun animation wasn’t announced on any specific page; instead, the user was intended to discover it without being prompted to do so. Creative ideas like this definitely grab a reader’s attention, while also demonstrating that print isn’t confined to the walls of a standard advertisement.

There’s something to be said for slowing down and simply flipping through a magazine or newspaper. Whether you prefer reading interesting articles or looking at all of the aesthetically pleasing advertisements, the world is your oyster. Throw in a scratch-and-sniff perfume sample, or coupon for a new product and I’m sold.