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Category Archives: Print

The 3 Hard Truths Publishers Must Face in 2018

Keith Sibson writing for Publishing Executive:

Truth #1: Facebook Is Not Your Friend. […]
Chasing platform traffic isn’t viable in the long term when it leads publishers to commit to a strategy likely to be rendered irrelevant by the next Facebook algorithm tweak. Publishers are left with large “audiences” they can’t directly reach, while being in an industry increasingly reliant on meaningful audience engagement. […]

Truth #2: Ad Revenue Won’t Be Enough to Sustain Quality Publishers. […]
The past year also saw many publishers combat declining ad revenue by monetizing their audience directly with a paywall. Still, if publishers want to drive revenue from their audience, they must build strong relationships with that audience first. […]

Truth #3: Publishers Must Choose Between Pursuing Quality and Chasing Scale. […]
Publishers can enlist themselves in the fight for fleeting attention with mass-produced content, or they can align themselves fully with a (smaller) audience, pursue subscription revenue models, and then devote themselves to creating content those audiences are passionate enough to pay for.

Why Good Old-Fashioned Physical Marketing Can Still Be Incredibly Creative

Nicola Brown at

Psychological research tends to suggest that constraints make us more creative. Ironically, the more creative tools we have at our disposal, the less creative we tend to be with them.

In a recent experiment, researchers the University of Illinois and Johns Hopkins University found that those who were primed to think about a problem from a scarcity-of-resources mindset came up with more creative solutions than those in the abundance-of-resources mindset. They concluded that when people have an abundance of resources, they have no incentive to use what’s available to them in novel ways.

So the “limitations” of the print medium in a digital age may actually be a driver of creative success. From newspaper ads, direct mail, and billboards to shareable photo opportunities, some of the past year’s most memorable campaigns revealed that the most out-of-the-box creative thinking often comes from grappling with the constraints of a singular, traditional format.

Jony Ive’s Perfect Magazine Is One with No Content

Limited edition cover by Apple’s chief design officer, Jony Ive (left) and more traditional newstand cover by Leonie Bos (right).

Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive is something of a legend in Silicon Valley. He’s the man whose golden touch is credited with the iconic designs of some of Apple’s most successful products, like the iPhone, iPod, and iMac.

But while Ive is very good at designing cutting-edge technology, it seems that he cannot do the same for a magazine cover. I mean this in the literal sense: when presented the opportunity to design a “limited edition” cover for Wallpaper magazine, Ive seems to have drawn a blank.

The magazine cover is meant to coincide with an extensive interview Wallpaper — which covers architecture, design, and art — conducted with Ive on the subject of the new Apple Park building and the iPhone X. But you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the cover. With the exception of a converting Wallpaper’s ordinarily black logo to a retro Apple-inspired rainbow, there’s no way of actually knowing that this interview is inside. […]

In the case of Ive’s magazine cover — an object that is supposed to perform the very basic task of informing you what it contains to read — the only conclusion I can draw based on Ive’s design is that his ideal magazine is one with no content at all.

Yes, one “basic task” of a cover on a newsstand is to inform a prospective reader about a magazine’s content. But this is a limited edition cover that is only sent to subscribers. In this case, the cover can be more (or less depending how you look at it). In other words, it can be avant garde without much risk. Subscribers are already invested in the product and will read it even if the cover doesn’t draw them in. On the flip side, being completely different and “wrong” has drawn a lot of attention from the blogosphere and this free advertising will help increase sales, which is another basic task of the cover.

Tuned In: The Brain’s Response to Ad Sequencing

The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making conducted a neuromarketing study to understand the human response to the sequencing of digital and physical advertisements. (PDF download link.)

For example, if a consumer first receives an ad in the mail and later sees the same ad via email, did the order in which she viewed the ads influence the ads’ effectiveness? Would a reversed, digital-physical media sequence have resonated more powerfully with her? How about if she had seen two advertising mailpieces instead?

The results of the lab portion indicated that the physical-physical sequence was particularly effective at eliciting ad recognition, brand recall, and ad likability. […]

The field study campaigns, although not statistically conclusive, showed a higher consumer response to a physical-digital ad sequence compared to a digital-digital sequence… Other findings from the lab study have practical implications for marketers and the Postal Service: faces spurred higher recall rates than scenes or words, and the physical-physical sequence was best for brand-building messages.

Proof That Magazine Media Still Deliver the Best Results for Advertisers

Sadie Hale of FIPP reports on Linda Thomas Brooks’ (CEO at MPA, USA) FIPP World Congress keynote:

Based on her experience, and research conducted and collated by MPA, Linda made the strong case that no medium is more trustworthy (and trusted) than magazines when it comes to selling ads. “Our research proves that magazine brands help tell stories and sell products for advertisers,” Linda began. […]

The data shows that rather than abandoning print, people are just adding other methods of consumption — Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms, for example. “The lesson is, consumers are holding onto their print editions,” Linda said. […]

She used an impressive case study to demonstrate how magazine media delivers for advertisers. Out of a total of 80 measured campaigns, all 80 delivered positive ROI for the advertiser.

Catalogs Are Experiencing a Renaissance

David Pilcher discussing the new Land’s End catalog for the FreeportPress:

Print has this incredible ability to convey important information about your brand – far beyond the mere act of putting ink on paper. Done right, a reader should get a gut reaction, an emotional affinity, for what your brand is all about.  As a great example, let’s look at the new WorkWear Outfitters catalog from Land’s End.

Catalogs are experiencing a renaissance; they are smarter and better looking than ever and are being used in ways far beyond the typical sales tool. They are increasingly being used to tell the brand story in a very real and tangible way. Land’s End apparently understands this.

Brands Found In Print Magazines More Trusted

Zoe Samios writing for Mumbrella:

Advertising campaigns which include print magazines amongst their mix of media channels have a 22% increase in brand trust, a new study commissioned by Magazine Networks suggests.

Various studies have found that ads in print magazine are more trusted, so this isn’t a surprise. But this studies goes on to examine how that trust multiplies the effectiveness of advertising in other media:

According to the study, print magazines combined with out of home advertising, were found to drive brand interest and purchase intent, with consumers 3.2 times more likely to identify the brand and find out more about it.

Chart of the Week: Ads in Legacy Media Are Still the Most Tolerated

David Pilcher at FreeportPress comments on a recent survey:

Luxury brands know the score. So do big brands like Proctor & Gamble. And consumers have made their preference loud and clear with their massive adoption of ad blocking technology.

Now Kantar Research is the latest source to confirm what is becoming increasingly well-known: consumers prefer advertisements in legacy media, and especially in print magazines, and tend to dislike new digital media formats.

Still in Vogue: Luxury Magazines Defy Print Market Gloom

Mark Sweney writing for The Guardian:

Nicholas Coleridge, international president of Vogue to Tatler owner Condé Nast, said that content on a tablet or iPad cannot match the experience of that “magazine moment”.

“It is very hard to replicate the physical allure of a luxury magazine on other platforms,” he said. “[It is] 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. Advertisers understand this.” […]

And returning to the discussion about page size from earlier this year:

In a seemingly costly, and counterintuitive, move [Glamour] magazine is to get bigger, to the size of Wired, even though paper costs are expected to rise because of the weakness in the pound since the Brexit vote..

Publishing director Jamie Jouning says that the move is fuelled by a demand from premium advertisers, who felt that the smaller size “has not always done full justice to their creative”.

Why Print Is Greener Than Digital

Will Glassman at Inspired School Marketers:

Paper manufacturers have been recycling rags, paper waste and pulp for centuries. Modern pulp and paper making operations are responsible for planting 3 trees for every tree harvested. There are now more trees in North American than there were 100 years ago. Most paper mills are energy self-sufficient by the clean burning of biomass waste from their operations. […]

Servers, server farms, monitors, CPU’s, laptops and mainframe computers use energy from local sources. Most of the electrical energy in the U.S. is generated by burning coal, the largest source of CO2 emissions in the country. There is no recycling stream for used computers and peripherals. / 855-MORR ART / 303-432-2922