The Next Revolution in Advertising is Here…and it’s in Print

A ping, a ding and a buzz. It’s nearly impossible to escape the constant digital interruptions in our lives. The same goes for advertising, too, according to one industry expert.

“In today’s world, it’s the norm to be distracted by eye-catching, witty and sense- assaulting ad campaigns. Advertisers have been programmed in recent years to think that distracting ad campaigns on digital platforms are the only way to increase sales and brand awareness,” writes Simon Leslie of Ink.

“This approach to aggressive digital advertising has created an increasingly resistant breed of consumers who shy away – and even shun entirely – digital advertising,” Leslie continues.

The proof of this is evident in the massive adoption of ad blocking as consumers tune out the disruptive digital experience.

This is leading advertisers to once again look to offline advertising that can, as Leslie notes, “be consumed in a less obtrusive way.”

Current conditions are actually perfect for an advertising revolution, as the pendulum swings back to print. Leslie, for one, sees it happening every day. As CEO of Ink, a UK-based in-flight publisher, Leslie has a front row seat to the appeal of print ads.

“The ads in print can have an aspirational, escapist capacity with exotic locations, beautiful people, plush interiors. Magazine adverts specialise in presenting an audience’s dreams and desires, and who doesn’t enjoy that?” he asks.

Leslie cites Condé Nast’s Nicholas Coleridge as saying, “It is very hard to replicate the physical allure of a luxury magazine on other platforms…It’s 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 magazine. Advertisers understand this.”

The speculation is backed up by data, per Ink’s recently commissioned research that shows readers’ ad recall improves 50% when in flight, no doubt part of the reason why print is thriving at 30,000 feet.

Consumers have incredible power now to set the tone for advertisers, simply by opting out of digital as they have. Publishers and advertisers, meanwhile, must put the audience first and deliver the goods in ways that truly engage.