Does Print Advertising Work?

As the VP of Marketing & Communications for the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, it’s my job to sell you an ad in the 2019 LAX Coastal Magazine & Business Guide. And I’m pretty good at it, too, if the 60+ advertisers in last year’s publication have anything to say about it.

Read the 2018 LAX Coastal Magazine

Of course, I’m biased. I love the Chamber and am entirely convinced that a membership to the LAX Coastal Chamber is the single smartest thing you can do for your professional success. I also love reading—I’ve been a voracious reader my entire life and a staunch supporter for the printed word (instead of the pixelated). So, I am obviously already convinced that, despite the frantic rise of digital media, print advertising works.

But, I would also like to think I am moderately intelligent—meaning that I like to have concrete facts to back up my belief. And as I started to sit down and develop my ad sales strategy, I realized… I don’t know if I have any facts. Does print advertising actually work? Is it possible that digital advertising has surpassed the written word in the last few years and I’ve just been sitting comfortably in my print-media bubble, oblivious?

At first, I shuddered—unwilling to believe that such a reality exists—but then I did what any constant student does: I studied. And I was pleasantly relieved to find out that I was right: print advertising works. And science can prove it.

The MPA – Association of Magazine Media published a white paper around “What Can Neuroscience Tell Us About Why Print Magazine Advertising Works?” They studied how the brain responded to reading words on paper versus words on a screen, and how each act connected to both our emotions and memory, and they discovered:

  • Paper-based reading benefits from more focused attention, less distraction, and less anxiety
  • Paper-based reading is widely associated with better transfer to long-term memory and clearer comprehension
  • In the case of advertising, print advertising activates neural activity associated with desirability and reward

If science doesn’t convince you, Forbes recently published an in-depth look into the future of advertising with insights from 10 experts.

  • With people becoming more and more blind to digital advertising methods, print offers an alternative medium to connect with your audience on their terms. Patrick Niersbach, InContext Solutions
  • The ubiquity of digital media has given print media a strange new power. Think of how special it is to get a written letter as opposed to an email. Brandon Ortiz,

The relevancy of print media is also seen by those working within the advertising industry, like Mediaspace Solutions, a print and digital agency committed to your advertising success.

  • While digital content is scanned quickly, paper-based reading is slower and more deliberate, leading to greater rates of comprehension and recall. For advertisers, this means that traditional print media ads are more likely to make a lasting impression and, thus, lead to more sales.

In conclusion, you should advertise in the 2019 LAX Coastal Magazine & Business Guide. Science said so. And I will leave you with one final quote from Scott McDonald, Ph.D.

If future research supports the evidence adduced in this review, it raises questions about those advertisers who are replacing print exposures with digital. Not only are they disregarding consumer demand for print, they are also ignoring print’s possibly superior ability to deliver a reading experience that supports comprehension and retention of—and connection with—their message.


Advertise in the 2019 LAX Coastal Magazine & Business Guide

Early bird ad rates ending December 14, 2018. Chamber member exclusive. Not-yet member rates available.

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