Do brands still embrace print advertising like they used to?

Do brands still embrace print advertising like they used to?_5ee33def899b9.jpeg

Whether it’s the increasing awareness of sustainability or the fact that it can be less measurable than many digital advertising approaches, print advertising definitely has seen better days.

But, there are still plenty of brands, big and small, who still regularly utilise print advertising within their marketing mix. The demand still exists and as long as customers are still purchasing newspapers and magazines, so will too exist the availability of printed advertorial space.

Why is print advertising still effective?

If you’re considering print advertising for your brand or trying to determine if it’s worth continuing with, here’s a couple of reasons why it’s still doing a pretty solid job in an industry that has become very saturated with digital options.


Based on the type of publication and it’s associated readership, a brand can accurately place their content to ensure that it will be seen by the right people. Publications tend to hold a lot of useful data about their readership and this can be highly insightful for a brand looking to target a specific type of person.


Often when faced with limited space, word counts and even colour restrictions, brands are forced to find truly creative solutions for their next print ad. Limitations can actually push them to better utilise their creative resources and find alternatie ways to position their business or product.

Less noise

Thanks to the digital world, we have shorter attention spans and are overloaded with information and data, almost constantly. Print advertising is often considered effective, bieng outside of all this noise, as it targets consumers during a time where there are typically no other potential distractions. Whether it’s a newspaper or magazine, the environment is often much less distracting than browsing online or on social media and as a result can result in higher engagement levels.


Due to the higher engagement levels, it is also recognised that a high percentage of consumers take some form of action after viewing print ads, such as those which appear in newspapers. The Nielson Global Trust reported 65% of readers who view a print ad, are likely to undertake some form of action following this. Furthermore, when coupled with a digital strategy, a print advert can prove to be highly effective. For example, featuring a QR code or a method of finding more information or undertaking an action using a digital device, can result in instant conversions and clear method of measuring effectiveness, originating from print advertising.

Why is print advertising maybe not for your brand?

For many brands, print advertising is outdated and not measurable enough to justify the spend. It’s not right for everyone, as with every method of promotion, so it’s important to understand why it might not be worth considering.


Although they may have a longer lifespan, print advertising is not as sustainable as digital and still requires the use of paper, ink, glues and plastic coverings. For many brands, this is a dealbreaker and is considered unnecessary when there are so many more eco-friendly options.

Decline in readership

It’s no secret that physical print readership is in decline. In 2017, the BBC reported on the decline of popular magazines such as Look (down 20.8%), Heat (down 16.6%), Grazia (down 13.4%) whilst publications such as Prospect, the Economist and The Spectator saw increases of 37.2%, 5% and 11.3% respectively.

This forms a clear image of the demographic of people who are shying away from purchasing print and those who still favour it.

Data from Newsworks from January 2019 shows us that the majority of newspapers have seen significant declines. However, the likes of the Daily Mail and The Sun appear to still see considerable readership intact, which again, could be relative to the audience demographics and preferred method of media consumption.

Lead times

Unlike its digital counterpart, print-based advertising typically will come with longer lead times. As many magazines are produced weekly, monthly and even quarterly, this can pose an issue for brands when they haven’t planned their media far ahead enough. Many magazines require placement and content to be secured months ahead, which can be difficult for those trying to generate buzz in the near future. This is one of the areas where digital is much more efficient and allows you to put your brand in front of your customers almost immediately.

Accessibility & Cost

According to the UK Media Forecasts, 2018 saw the decline in traditional media with digital advertising spend determined to grow by over 8% in 2019, accounting for over 61% of the complete advertising media spend, amounting to over £12bn. This isn’t surprising considering the accessible nature of digital advertising options, of which there are far more options and potential for scalability.

Due to the longevity of the format, print media is often more costly than digital options. The cost of printing and distribution needs to be accounted for and the bigger the space the higher the cost of the placement. For many SME’s and smaller brands, this is not accessible or financially feasible, particularly without precise measurement metrics as with digital.

Is print advertising for your brand?

There is no cut and dry answer, as with the majority of advertising platforms, determining if print advertising is for your brand comes down completely to budgets and audiences.

For many, the cost outweighs the potential deliverables, but if your audience is comprised of a demographic who regularly engages with print materials, the results could be highly valuable.

If you need print advertising assets or want to discuss your next print advertorial campaign, why not get in touch with us for good, honest advice?


Think we can make magic happen together? Drop us a line and we’ll setup a call to go through your goals and explain how we can help.


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