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Posted by on Feb 16, 2010 in Art, TheOnlyCin | 1 comment


Are we to see the death of printed advertising?

Cindy Taylor

We’re besieged by reports of dwindling figures and the predictions that the onset of the Digital Age will certainly ensure the slow death of print. If we look at reading material for a brief moment; how the newspaper industry, in existence since the 17th Century, must have quaked with the advent of new media like radio and television. Did newspapers disappear? No, they soldiered on. The recurring phrase in all research available on the issue is: People like to hold paper, they like to touch. And they like to keep stuff.

The internet has created a new, alternative, media, yes. And, it offers novel opportunities to talk to your target market, and promote yourself.

But, as for printed advertising? I believe that as time goes by, it will retain its importance in the marketing mix. In fact, I believe it will become more segmented and targeted, as the media that contain it and thrive on it, will continue to be forced to evolve.

Advertising in itself has evolved greatly; where its purpose was once simply to tell consumers to “Drink Horlicks”, we now want have CRM campaigns. We want to build databases, so that we know if they did, in fact, drink the Horlicks and what they made of the experience, so that we can talk to them again and tell them we know of the perfect biscuit to have with their next cup.

I spoke to Sally Meiring, MD of Republic Of Design, about it and she tells me that her creative team have embraced the changes and see them as a challenge, especially in the experiential arena. “Look at POP and POS as an example, the possibilities for exciting and fresh work are endless. And while it may be quick and easy to search the web for a guesthouse, a dentist or a good school for your kids; you’re always going to want more information and tangible proof that your choice is the correct one for you. I don’t see the brochure, the business card or the printed stationery ever dying.”

Our interview ended and I left with a slim package, a CD. The elegantly designed and beautifully printed cover indicated that it was an invitation to a product launch her agency was handling. When I slipped it into my computer back at the office, it not only contained the relevant information on the event with a catchy sound track, but allowed me to RSVP there and then. My ticket arrived by courier the next day. I wonder if I would have attended the event if I’d received the invitation by means of yet another ‘click here’ email?

Yes, I am glad to conclude that printed advertising will never die. I think it’s going to be quite exciting to watch its Renaissance!

Republic Of Design is a collective of experienced ad industry professionals offering a full agency service.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Cin, is this the post you want me to reply to? I do agree that the digital world requires a footing in the physical world of bricks. What does happen with the advent of new media is that the old is transformed. When TV came radio turned into talk radio and music. When the mobile devices came, radio turned into mostly talk. Sometimes the old disappear completely, when books came scrolls disappeared completely. When the motor car came, horse drawn carriages disappeared for all except ceremonial. There is no hard and fast rule except transformation or obsolenscence. A material platform will allways be required, but print will be transformed. Re the CD, you must be the very first person I know of that actually put an info CD in a computer and played it (apart from as a back up to corporate presentations, where sales depend on multiple decision makers all of whom could not attend the original presentation).

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