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In this ever-changing media marketplace where our hand-held PDA can pick up a cellular feed in milliseconds, print media is going the way of the dinosaur, right? Not hardly. Newspapers and magazines might not have video clips, soundtracks, instant interactivity or a scroll button, but they do have readers – loads of them. And for that reason, they have loads of advertisers lining up for column inches. Last year, U.S. newspapers generated $46 billion in ad revenue, and magazines brought in more than $11 billion. Advertisers embrace print because, even with its limitations, it has desirable advantages like easy portability, a longer shelf-life, the ability to target specific demographics, and more space to explain your product.
Color vs. Black & White
Cost is one factor since color ad production is more expensive, but there are other considerations. Color is beautiful and eye-catching, but the contrasting black/white combo remains the gold standard for readability. Also, keep in mind what the surrounding ads are using – if your ad appears in a publication where advertisers primarily use black & white, then color helps you stand out in the crowd, and vice-versa. Color must be used for products where color is a key buying factor (think fabrics, floral arrangements, paint), and black & white can be very effective when used to set an artistic tone or depict a historical period.
Size Can Make a Difference – or Not
When choosing the size of your ad, remember that bigger isn’t always better. A half page ad that is designed effectively may be just as reader- grabbing as a two-page spread – but a lot easier on your budget. Still, a key benefit of buying a three-quarter page or full-page ad in a newspaper or magazine is exclusivity – no other ads are on the page competing for attention. Smaller ads cost less, but you’ll need to make up in creativity what you lose in column inches.
Tips for Effective Print Ads
The key to creating memorable print advertising is maintaining consistency in your design. Each promotional piece should serve as a reminder of a previous message. Use similar colors and design elements in your ads, letterhead, business cards, signage, logo, brochures and other printed materials. This also applies to non-print media. Maintain consistency with your radio and TV spots, Web site, outdoor ads, and promotional products to maximize the effectiveness of your campaign.
- Use contrasting colors that are pleasing to the eye and balance the major elements in your design.
- Grab attention with a headline that talks about your customers’ needs or desires.
- Give your customer a reason to respond by focusing on a special price, advantage or innovation.
- Keep body copy simple, readable and persuasive. Use subheads to break-up longer copy blocks.
- Don’t include language or information beyond the comprehension level of your target.
- Get professional design help to ensure your ad refl ects the desired image of your company.
- Remember, you are a professional in your line of work; we are professionals in advertising. Let us help you.