Submitted by: Tasneem Mahbub 19/05/2017
Scott Manson, Director Of Content for OgilvyOne UK, explains why print can offer something advertisers covet – the personal touch.
Having worked across digital and print channels, the main advantage print has within the media mix is that it feels personal. That’s one of the main qualities our clients look for when we consider using print in our campaigns. When you print something, it looks like you have gone to a lot of trouble to make it. There’s a feeling when you pick up a really well-produced print product that love and craftsmanship has gone into it, and you can see and feel the production values – that’s very important.
It’s also why luxury brands are particularly attracted to print. When you produce a beautiful hardback book, advertisers still like it – particularly luxury advertisers, because you get that richness and lushness, and it’s a lovely, tactile experience. You can see there’s still a market for high-end magazines as well. If you look at GQ, it sells well and attracts a good deal of advertising. And when you look at a title like Vogue, it’s primarily a print brand, so there’s clearly an audience out there for that content and brands want to buy into it.
With high-end magazines, they can offer the kind of detail you don’t often get in digital content. If you’re looking at a luxury watch, for instance, you’re not going to pick up all the detail of it on an iPhone screen. Kids also respond well to print. Children’s print titles continue to do well and my daughter subscribes to a really great independent title called Phoenix, which is a brilliant, well-written, well-illustrated magazine for 7-10-year-old boys and girls. In the UK, we’re only a small island but we can support a relatively healthy newspaper industry and small print-run magazines can hold their own.
If you want evidence to show people are engaging with print on a daily basis, you only have to get on the tube or a train carriage and see half the passengers reading Metro, the Evening Standard, or one of the ‘freemium’ magazines. Shortlist in particular seems to keep growing in circulation, and it’s full of ads too, because if you get the content right in any format, people will want to read it and the advertisers will follow.
It doesn’t have to be free – Private Eye, for instance, sells 200,000 copies in print. I also like Viz, which I pick up every month as it gives me several really good laughs, and there aren’t many magazines or newspapers you can say that about. Digital has the obvious advantage of being able to feature moving images and multiple formats such as audio clips or interactive infographics. But with digital campaigns we still talk about ‘thumb-stopping moments’, and I think print can also provide that in its own way. It’s that point where you stop scrolling – or flicking – through the pages and notice that piece of content you want to engage with. That can be on a tablet, a website or a print spread, and you go, ‘This looks great. I’m going to stick around here’. If you’re providing that, then brands will want to get on board.