Is Your Ad Strategy Scientifically Sound?

heartandmindofprintAdvertisers take note: Your target’s brain is hard wire to receive that message in print, more than digital. That’s the science behind the hype.

Print geeks everywhere are feeling vindicated for their love of paper, after years are digital proponents calling us old-fashioned, romantic or out-of-touch. As it turns out, the human brain is perfectly attuned to print.

Last falls’ report “What Can Neuroscience Tell Us About Why Print Magazine Advertising Works” from the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) was an eye opener for many in the industry. Not only that, it’s spawned a new and quite surprising guarantee from the MPA called the Print Magazine Sales Guarantee, assuring advertisers they would see unique value from their print ads or their money back.

“[It] makes our case to the advertising community that if they are looking for the best ROI possible, magazine media is an ideal investment,” said Time Inc.’s Joe Ripp of the MPA announcement. “This new industry-wide guarantee demonstrates the value of the magazine media ecosystem to advertisers. It’s a win/win for all of us.”

A guarantee on print advertising effectiveness? That kind of bold assurance had better be backed by hard science and not simply nostalgia for the medium. And it is, with data that covers a range of areas: how our brain reads; the differences in reading between print and screen; the higher comprehension with paper; how print aids in emotion and memory retrieval; how attention and focus are influenced by media choice – it’s all in the report.

This is no surprise for us; we’ve run previous articles about the weird science behind print ads and the real science on paper versus screens. The evidence exists that our preference for print really is based on science.

For marketers, the challenge may be how to integrate this information into a company culture that might have a preference for digital because of its ease of entry and trend-worthiness. For companies that lead, rather than follow the trends, it’s time to take a much closer look at how we choose the media we do for our campaigns, and what really lies behind those decisions.