We all know that the world is becoming increasingly technological, developing new ways and methods to communicate to the consumer. With this new age comes a new generation of techno savvy consumers who understand how to bypass the boredom of adverts and unwanted information coming their way. With this in mind, we as advertisers wonder how impactful many of our methods actually are. In the case of television advertising we generally assume that this has taken a backseat and consumers are no longer engaging with what we are promoting online and on the telly, not to mention that this is a costly process. TVCs in general are becoming far less successful in their engagement of a market with the development of convenience like PVR and the likes. With this in mind we wonder about print advertising and whether it too will share the same fate. Is it successful or not? Obsolete or still engaging?

Many may argue that print communication like TVC is paying a hard price in the developing world, yet arguments are still made about opposing effects. This brings me to the latest research that was conducted by Ask Afrika’s client service director, Dr Amelia Richards who believes in the successful reach of print.

In a quantitative analysis conducted throughout the country, 15 000 interviews were conducted and the results indicated a positive impact from print advertising. This explains a great deal why so many advertising agencies continue to opt for this mode of communication. 40% of these consumers stated that they pay more attention to adverts in magazines than in any other media. This is a direct result of the nature of the magazine, where it has a unique ability to connect with the reader on a personal level. 43% of respondents in turn also stated that they tend to act on competitions and surveys in both magazines and newspapers. In terms of of brand awareness  53% of South Africans stated that advertisements in magazines make them aware of new products and services in a way that is easy to understand and remember. This also has a direct result on the trust that print creates, where consumers who are loyal to certain publications tend to trust the communication that they are broadcasting.

In terms of newspaper print, this too does not go unnoticed with 79% of the respondents believing in its success and 56% of these consumers confirming that newspaper inserts influence the overall purchase decision both in store and out.

In the words of Dr Amelia Richards: “South Africans do read and respond to advertising, however brand owners should be well aware when designing advertising campaigns that we are living in a world where personalisation is becoming increasingly important and for this local newspapers are the perfect platform. These papers are less generic, more personalized, more approachable and impacting trust. We look at them differently.”

With this in mind the myths and arguments over the success of print advertising will never be completely eradicated, however in its current state, it cant be argued that it doesn’t have a positive effect in some instances. So what does this mean for the future? My advice to brands and advertisers is to continue to communicate with your audience in a way that you do best and in turn reap the rewards that the communication brings. However  don’t become stagnated and out of touch, remain current and up to date with trends and developments so as to not lose your market to a better and more engaging brand.