Your Audience is Into Print Ads. Are You?

When deciding where to spend your ad dollars, do you stop to consider your audience’s point of view? If you did, you might join the growing chorus saying pffft to digital ads.

According to Kantar Millward Brown’s latest Ad Reaction Study, consumers are far more receptive to ads in magazines and newspapers than in videos, online search engines or digital displays.

“People around the world seem to be developing more negative than positive reactions to the evolution of advertising over the past few years,” notes this post in Marketing Charts. “There’s a sense that people are being bombarded with advertising: 8 in 10 agree that ads are appearing in more places, and about 3 in 4 feel that they’re seeing more advertising now.”

That bombardment could be the reason that people are most receptive to traditional media ads, “potentially due to conditioning or due a less interruptive nature than their digital counterparts,” the post continues.

It could be that digital’s ability to target (and re-target) – one of the bright promises back in the day – is actually backfiring. Seeing ads too many times, or for products they’ve already purchased, led many to say they feel they are being stalked – and it led Apple to slam down the lid to the ad cookie jar. And even with intelligent data-backed targeting, “respondents were as likely to say that ads were not relevant (21%) as they were to say that they were personalized to their interests (22%).”

Two years ago Kantar Media released similar findings, and it seems that the world of digital advertising hasn’t improved. Meanwhile receptiveness to magazine ads has ticked upwards quite significantly; 53% of respondents had a positive reaction to magazine ads, compared to 33% a year ago.

That makes sense; we are seeing some really creative print advertising lately, as designers embrace a growing appreciation for the limits of the printed page. We also understand more about how print and digital can complement each other, and the trust bump advertisers enjoy from print ads.

Publishers are embracing a more audience-first approach; advertisers might want to get on board.