Once a huge driver of sales, print is taking a back seat to the many digital forms of advertising now available to marketers. However, if there is one thing that’s certain about advertising, it’s that being different is good. And when consumers tire of digital ads, a return to printed pieces, and the tactile feeling and permanence they provide, is definitely on the cards. Typically, print can be split into three sub-categories:
- Periodical Advertising
If it’s in a magazine, a newspaper, or anything else that comes out at regular intervals, then it’s periodical advertising (aka a print ad). For decades, print ads were the gold standard for advertisers and their clients. To grab the center spread of a big magazine, or the back cover of a newspaper, meant millions of people were seeing the message.
- Brochures, Leaflets, Flyers, Handouts and Point of Sale Advertising
Although some of these can be placed within the pages of newspapers and magazines, they are treated as a separate entity (usually because they have less chance of being seen). From something that sits on a counter or customer service desk, to a glossy car brochure, this is a more intimate, and long-form, way of engaging the consumer. Use this when you have more information than you can cram into a print ad.
- Direct Mail Advertising
Either of the techniques mentioned above can be incorporated into direct mail. It simply means that your printed pieces are mailed direct to the consumer. This is a technique that has been, and continues to be, abused by inferior marketing agencies that have turned the craft into “junk mail.” Done right, direct mail can be a fantastic way to engage the customer, if it is creative and intelligently conceived and executed. Do not count it out.
Also known as ambient media, guerrilla advertising (or marketing) has become prominent over the last 20 years. It is a broadly used term for anything unconventional, and usually invites the consumer to participate or interact with the piece in some way. Location is important, as is timing. The driving forces behind guerrilla advertising or marketing are creative ideas and innovation, not a large budget. Quite often, you will ask for forgiveness rather than permission with these campaigns, and they will spread via word of mouth and social media.
A mass-market form of communication including television and radio, broadcast advertising has, until recently, been the most dominant way to reach a large number of consumers. Broadcast advertising has really taken a beating over the last few years, especially with the rise of DVRs and “ad skipping” technology. However, it is still a popular way to reach millions of people, especially when the Super Bowl comes around.
Also known as out-of-home (OOH) advertising, this is a broad term that describes any type of advertising that reaches the consumer when he or she is outside of the home. You will know it as billboards, bus shelter posters, fly posters, and even those big digital boards in Times Square.
Public Service Advertising
Unlike traditional commercials, Public Service Advertisements (PSA) are primarily designed to inform and educate rather than sell a product or service. PSAs traditionally appear on TV and radio, but are also being heavily promoted online these days.
Product Placement Advertising
In a nutshell, product placement is the promotion of branded goods and services within the context of a show or movie, rather than as an explicit advertisement. If you have ever seen a movie and wondered “wow, they sure are driving a lot of Ford cars in this scene,” or “does everyone in this TV show drink Pepsi?” then you are noticing product placement. It’s a way that these films and shows get funding, and is a great way for advertisers to reach a targeted demographic.