A Fully Modern Media Agency Riffs on Print’s Staying Power

What’s truly behind the staying power of print and the popularity of magazines? According to Cathy Buckmaster of Alhaus, print offers what technology can’t.

“Somewhat surprisingly, print is a strangely convenient medium—it’s portable, never runs out of battery and doesn’t require Wi-Fi, meaning there are moments during everyone’s day when print is the only available entertainment,” Buckmaster writes.

And when we do engage in print, something specific happens to us.

“There’s something about the physicality of print—the feel of the stock, the gloss of images, the sheen of ink—that holds sensory appeal,” she continues. “People inevitably look at things that are placed into their hands, as there is literal weight to the advert. It’s much trickier to do this with digital advertising as you’re limited to sight and sometimes sound. Luxury consumers particularly value tangible advertisements, placed in glossy magazines and publications that hold a certain cachet.”

“When online, consumers have lower attention spans, often not staying on a website longer than a few seconds. However, tangibility encourages information retention so advertising messaging is more likely to be remembered by the recipient,” she adds.

All true, and supported by several studies that prove the sensory appeal of print, and the importance of “real” in this time of digital transience. So it’s no surprise to us that luxury brands spend more on print ads than digital, and are embracing trends like cover wrap campaigns to reach a high-end target audience.

Buckmaster goes on to note a “renaissance of the printed magazine. The last decade has seen magazine publishing thrive. In the current market, when newspapers, radio and music are becoming virtually free, magazine prices are climbing. Cost naturally adds value to a product and invariably creates a higher level of engagement.”

For consumers, print is a thing of true value, with lasting impact and tactile appeal. And that makes it a potentially brilliant platform for advertisers. This, my friends, is precisely how to view print in the modern age.