Print Advertising is Not Dead – Just Ask The Fashion Industry

Jon Bailey // Jul 27 // Insights



Can we all finally stop ringing the death knell for the print ad industry? Sure, it’s been a challenging decade as digital media takes an increasing bite of the pie. At i.d.e.a., we have been huge proponents of digital marketing for years, and continue to lead the way in creating innovative online campaigns for our clients like Bill My Parents. But print is far from dead, and deserves a place in any smart integrated marketing program.

Just ask the fashion industry. Or better yet, ask their customers.

Clearly, there are consumers – and the advertisers who want to reach them – that believe strongly in the tactile, page-turning beauty of the well-designed print ad. Just this morning on my way to work, amidst news of economic crisis in Spain, the opening of Olympic Games in London, and updates on the shooting tragedy in Aurora, I listened to an NPR story about the upcoming September issue of Vogue Magazine, which will top 658 pages. Experts from AdWeek and the publishing industry were interviewed about the incredible success of this issue, talking about the $165,000 per page cost of just one print ad. What irony - the media interviewing the media about the media.

On Monday, the New York Times ran a huge story on the front page of the Business Section about the advertising success in Chinese editions of Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and more. These forays have been so successful for these publishers that some are now publishing twice monthly, because editions have become too fat for the public to carry. There seems to be a voracious appetite in China for stunning, clever advertising and editorial content.

So what’s happening here? Were the threats of a print media meltdown overrated? Or is this the great evening some had predicted?

In our view, smart print advertising never left. It might have temporarily lost some of its luster, and definitely some media outlets have lost their way - or gone out of business altogether. Yet, the right time in the right place still gets the right results.

After all, isn’t that just intelligent marketing strategy? As we say at i.d.e.a. – right sized ideas in all the right places. Makes sense to me.


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