Print Advertising: Effective or Outdated?

Imagine the September Fashion Week Issue of Vogue. It’s about the size of a college textbook, minus the $200 dent in your wallet. With the alluring trends for the upcoming Fall/Winter season also comes the influx of glossy full page ads to supplement the whopping page count and printing of these issues.

Advertisements have always been a part of magazine culture, and some of them can be entertaining. Ad buys were not always the sole crutch of the magazine industry, but now it seems to be one of the few options to stay afloat. To fund their monthly publishings, fashion magazines rack up ads, thus beefing up the page count. After the forty pages of advertisements, you get to the actual content of the magazine. It’s really easy, in that brief period of time, to forget what you bought the magazine for.

How can magazine companies cut the fluff and get to what the consumer bought it for? There are a few different angles a magazine can take to achieve this. The issue is more with the amount of ads rather than the quality of the magazine with the ads. However, ads aren’t completely vanishing any time soon, whether they mask the entire page or they squish themselves between articles.

First, companies should look into online advertising, if they want to reclaim the magazine’s aim. Online advertising is easier to maneuver and effective. You may be tempted to click out of an ad that pops up on a magazine’s website and get back to the article, but what if you’re actually pulled in by the ad? You could click on the ad and then be redirected to its source.

Consider the same scenario when reading a magazine. You see an ad, hope to remember the essence of the ad, and, if you make it so far, look up the product when you’ve got the time. This is unrealistic, and people that read the magazine often forget to research the company or product featured in the ad. With online articles, one can easily click on an ad and be redirected to the product without much hassle. Online advertising creates more traffic for both the magazine and the company of the ad.

Now, let’s consider product placement. Most magazines already feature clothes and products within the magazine itself. A buyer is more likely to buy something when it’s seen in use by someone else– even a stranger in a magazine. Magazines conceive an image of perfect execution, hence why readers always come back for more. Their featured products deliver the same image, which hikes up sales for these products.

Companies don’t need to have both a product placed within the pages and a full page advertisement spread in a magazine. The magazine can save their reader’s time and its frivolous page count by placing a company’s product in the magazine, without the advertisement.

Advertising itself shouldn’t jump off the printed magazine cliff. Instead, magazines should reevaluate their numbers and see how truly effective printed ads are before buying up more useless campaigns to feature in the future.

Pamela Jew is a staff writer. Email her at

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