Print’s Emotional Value Will Matter Less as Digital Evolves
There is a recent article titled Print vs. Digital: Another Emotional Win for Paper, that came across my info-radar today. Articles like these are always popping up. They are interesting to me because science must do what science does—question everything. As a geek-at-heart, I am all for the pursuit of knowledge. I sometimes think that all good production people are geeks, but that is a story for another day.
There are several things that must be pointed out in this article. The headline is click bait appealing to paper lovers and tries to confirm what they think they already know. However, the data here is not as overwhelming for the paper lovers as the headline suggests. The biggest issue is the supposed edge paper has in terms emotional value as opposed to digital. To me that is much more generational than a universal law of astro-advertising.
The main thing to remember here is that in a very meaningful way none of this digital-does-this-and-paper-does-that-science will matter as we proceed further. Why, you wisely ask? Because we aren't ever going to go back to being a major paper-transmitting society.
Most professionals I know think digital ads don't yet measure up to the creativity of the golden age of paper. I agree. So what? Where digital has a problem with the emotional attachment, new science will correct the flaw in delivery. Madison Avenue and the companies that are involved in selling products will eventually figure it out and do a better job than they are doing now. It is really that simple.
Here are some of the more interesting findings in this article:
- Digital ads were processed more quickly.
- Paper ads engaged viewers for more time.
- Subjects reported no preference for either medium.
- Subjects absorbed about the same amount of information from both media.
- A week later, subjects showed greater emotional response and memory for physical media ads.
- Physical ads caused more activity in brain areas associated with value and desire.
Bob Sacks (aka BoSacks) is a printing/publishing industry consultant and president of The Precision Media Group (BoSacks.com). He is also the co-founder of the research company Media-Ideas (Media-Ideas.net), and publisher and editor of a daily international e-newsletter, Heard on the Web. Sacks has held posts as director of manufacturing and distribution, senior sales manager (paper), chief of operations, pressman, circulator and almost every other job this industry has to offer.