In an age dominated by digital platforms, the importance of print advertising can often be overlooked. Yet, there is a huge impact in the tactile and persistent nature of print media, particularly when ads are run over an extended period. Understanding the science behind this strategy can offer valuable insights into consumer behaviour and the lasting impact and influence of traditional advertising techniques.
Consistency and Familiarity
Running ads over a long duration in print media capitalises on the psychological principle of consistency and familiarity. According to Mere Exposure Effect, related and repeated exposure to a stimulus generally increases the liking of that stimulus. So in the context of print advertising, when the customers you want to attract see the same ad multiple times across different editions, they become more familiar with you and trust in your brand.
Repeated exposure to the same ad in a magazine can create a sense of cognitive ease. This ease makes the information more palatable and easier to process for the reader, ultimately influencing their purchasing decisions favourably.
Building a Narrative
Extended ad runs allow you or your brand to tell a story, building a narrative over time. Each advertisement serves as another chapter in your story. The gradual storytelling helps in forging a deeper relationship with your audience, as they become more invested in the narrative, and consequently, your brand.
Advertising over an extended period also allows for the reinforcement of your brand’s values and image. Consistent and constant messaging builds a strong and recognisable brand, which is crucial in crowded marketplaces.
Trust in Tangibility
Print magazines offer something that digital content simply cannot – tangibility. The physical nature of print ads can generate a sense of authenticity and credibility, which is especially important for certain products or target demographics. This physical presence over a long period of time ingrains your product or brand into the readers environment, subtly influencing their perception and decision-making.
Long term advertising can be perceived as a sign of a brand’s commitment and stability. If you or a brand is willing to put the effort into advertising yourself, then that will reflect onto the readers perception of you.
Target Audience and Niche Marketing
Our magazines often appeal to specific demographics and interest groups. By running ads over an extended period of time, you can consolidate your presence within a particular niche market. This approach can be a lot more cost effective and impactful, compared to broader, less targeted advertising.
Another difference between digital and physical advertising is the interaction. With magazines, readers have to physically flip the pages which can aid in memory retention. This combined with extended exposure to the same print ads will reinforce memory and recall for you and your brand.
The spacing effect shows us that, when information is reviewed at increasing intervals, more information is encoded into long term memory. We can use this in print advertisements, by spacing out multiple adverts across a publication to enhance long-term recall
To conclude, while digital advertisements dominate discussions, the science behind running physical advertisements over extended periods is more than compelling. By tapping into the psychology or familiarity, tangibility or print and the nuances or memory and storytelling, we can effectively advertise and create strong connections between us and our audience. As with any marketing strategy, the key lies in understanding your audience, your message and the medium to fully take advantage of your advertising.