Monty Python, Cannes, and the Reality of Print

mp-holyWhen your marketing meetings resemble a Monty Python farce, you know you have a serious problem.

It’s a bit like the old Monty Python skit. Digital marketers have been so insistent that print is dead or dying that it seems they are deliberately beating it over the head to prove their point.

“I’m getting better,” the poor fellow wails while being carried to the dead cart as the driver cries “Bring out your dead!”

“I feel fine!” the victim asserts, before being whacked on the head to put an end to the debate.

Monty Python makes it funny, of course, but the real life situation hasn’t been so hilarious as marketing budgets and affinities skew heavily to digital. Fortunately, in the wake of the digital ad meltdown and the looming ad blocking tsunami, saner heads are once again prevailing.

One such voice comes from Graham McGregor in the NZ Herald, who states “I personally believe that print marketing (done well) is one of the most effective and profitable marketing strategies that you can use.”

McGregor cites several statistics to back up his assertion. For starters, he notes that two out of five consumers will check out a company or brand after getting just one piece of print mail.

“With repeat mailing, this response jumps exponentially, and this method also greatly increases your brand exposure and builds a personal connection with the consumer,” he notes.

Add to that the timeliness of the medium (98% of consumers will open and read their mail within hours of getting it, and more than half of them will keep the mailing for future reference), and you’ve got a proven base for expecting some solid ROI from print ads. Digital ad channels just can’t make that claim.

Cannes Lions Festival juror Corinna Falusi had an epiphany surrounding print and its potential as a marketing medium.

“How am I going to survive judging work that doesn’t move and can’t be interacted with?” asked Corinna Falusi, Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy New York on being asked to judge this year’s Print & Publishing category.

“I won’t lie, my expectations were low, Falusi notes in The Drum. “And then I learned there were 10 percent fewer entries than last year in the category — further convincing me that I’d be judging a dying category and medium. I prepared myself to take a journey to the past, and off to Cannes I went.”

“But everything changed. After one week of judging, I left completely inspired and with a new perspective on print: It’s far from dead,” Falusi states.

“I arrived at Cannes cynical of print. I left inspired and ready to find ways to embrace its strengths, not force it into being something it’s not,” she notes.

Will you smack your print marketing over the head just to throw it on the digital death cart? The idea seems ludicrous in that light, but that’s exactly what many brands did over the past several years. Fortunately, the ridiculous is usually shown for what it is, and print marketing is, indeed, “feeling fine.”