Why Print Is Still Relevant To Reach Affluent Readers

We’re all living in a fast-paced world, and most of us come in contact with digital media much more often than traditionally printed media.

The digital revolution changed almost everything about how we interact with the world and each other, and that, of course, is extended to how we consume media and facilitate advertising.

And although it might seem that printed advertisements are a thing of the past, this is not entirely the truth. While digital advertising offers many undeniable advantages, it also comes with some significant drawbacks — drawbacks that do not influence print media as much.

Is print advertising still effective in getting your message across to affluent readers and consumers? Yes, it is, and here are all the reasons why.

The Tangible Appeal of Print

Websites and online ads offer great flexibility and make delivering your content easy and time-efficient. But they do lack one very crucial quality — they are not physical like direct mail marketing materials are.

Why does that matter?

Turns out, it makes a considerable difference from a consumer experience perspective. Starting from the fact that readers get to hold and read physical magazines, which creates a whole sensory experience for them.

They are exposed to high-quality photographs and physical objects that draw their attention and speak about the luxury that brands want to assimilate themselves with.

Printed magazines, through the choices of aesthetics, luxurious paper, high-quality printing, and sophisticated design, can convey the message about quality and luxury, at the same time stimulating emotional response in readers digital media and ads have a much harder time achieving this.

2019 USPS and Temple University study proves that theory. Using neurophysiological measurements, researchers were able to determine that print advertisements were more memorable for readers, did leave a greater emotional impact, and, as a result, swayed their consumer decisions more often than digital ads did.

The participants of the research were able to retrieve the information from printed materials more easily and also spent more time with printed ads, suggesting that this form of marketing is more effective and attractive to consumers.

And it’s reflected in print marketing statistics that say the response rate for direct mail marketing oscillates around 9% compared to digital marketing, which offers a response rate of 1% or less (R.C. Brayshaw, 2020).

Printed advertisements hold a lot of power, creating more lasting impressions and staying longer in customers’ memories, making them still one of the most efficient ways of promoting one’s brand and services.

Exclusivity, Credibility, and Brand Image

Still, print advertising statistics are not the only reason luxury brands still choose to advertise through exclusive magazines and publications. Just like we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s also about creating a certain type of experience for the sophisticated audience.

Being featured in one of the luxury and influential publications is significant for brands who wish to gain the credibility and exclusivity these magazines hold and represent. Through print ads, sponsored articles, or mentions included in luxury magazines, brands are able to reach their target audience and also gain their trust and attention by associating themselves with the status of these publications.

This status does not come from thin air, of course, as luxury magazines usually target a specific demographic, crafting engaging and quality content through their thorough and rigorous editorial process.

Often, there are real-life experts and artists that are involved in the creation of these publications. Many luxury publications release the print versions of their magazines bi-monthly or four to three times a year, taking their time in putting every issue together with much consideration in order to deliver their affluent readers a truly exclusive and valuable experience on all fronts — from the quality of topics and articles they cover to the selection of photographs and art.

All in all, what customers get in the form of an exclusive magazine is a carefully curated piece of media that can legitimize a brand’s reputation and increase its importance on the market.

Targeted Audience and Engagement

We already know that print advertising can be really effective, but who does it reach, and how effective is it in the case of luxury brands and magazines?

Print and digital ads facilitated by exclusive magazines are reaching their audiences, which make up of usually wealthy, educated, and ambitious readers. These are business owners and CEOs, artists, designers, journalists and travelers, experts and collectors of fine art and goods, as well as affluent consumers interested in a luxury lifestyle and a way of thinking.

As we know from the research, there is a significant correlation between the socioeconomic status of individuals and readership. People who are wealthier and more educated are more likely to read newspapers and reach for magazines, suggesting that affluent audiences are an engaged and receptive demographic when it comes to this form of media.

Just like in the case of magazines created for other types of consumers, luxury publications target various niches, often covering grounds like lifestyle, culture, luxury goods, cars, boats, aviation, jewelry, fashion, business, and travel, among many others.

If you have a luxury brand and you want to conduct a print advertising campaign for your specific audience, there’s a high chance there is a magazine on the market that will fit your profile and campaign goals. You can target a broad audience or very specific audiences, depending on your advertising needs.

There are many titles to choose from, as we covered in our article on Best Luxury Magazines and Publications.

Print advertising effectiveness increases when you are able to reach your niche audience, and luxury magazines offer you that opportunity, lending brands their unique voices and specifically crafted spaces to gain valuable exposure through sponsored stories, traditional advertising, and other marketing efforts.

Increased Attention and Minimal Distractions

What shouldn’t be underestimated when planning a marketing strategy is the way people consume media nowadays. Sure, digital ads are quite easy to get on people’s screens, but that is exactly why there is such potential in traditional print ads.

People are overstimulated, as digital advertising follows them everywhere. It’s on social media platforms, in their email boxes, on websites they visit, and in podcasts, shows, and films they’re consuming.

It’s too much, which makes people disengage from this advertising medium. Digital advertising faces an oversaturated market and consumers that are tired of generic online pop-up ads and filled-to-the-brim spam folders.

But, what research suggests is that people get more engaged when being exposed to a print ad. Print ads generate an even 20% higher motivation response than digital advertising materials (R.C. Brayshaw, 2020).

Additionally, as mentioned earlier in the article, people tend to spend more time with print advertising, giving it more of their attention and retaining more information from it.

One of the factors responsible for this could be the fact that reading a magazine is a very purposeful action. People choose to spend their time reading various publications, and the ads they are being exposed to are an anticipated element of that.

There are also much fewer distractions awaiting readers who pick up a printed magazine, allowing them to stay focused on the action at hand and not divert to another post, video, or website.

All of this results in the fact that affluent readers are more likely to see your print ad and engage with it, which means print advertising, as a part of marketing strategy for luxury brands, is here to stay.

Longevity and Shelf Life

One thing that print advertising still holds as an advantage over digital marketing is its longevity. Not only are printed magazines kept for much longer by the readers than any form of online ads, but they also can be read by more than one person over the span of their life.

Many people collect their favorite magazines, as they often promote the subscription model, which also helps advertisers to reach the homes of their audiences and stay there for much longer.

Many consumers read magazines to find relevant information and inspiration, but there is also a big portion of readers that use magazines as decoration.

Such publications can often be found on coffee tables in private homes, as well as in various spaces where the richest of this world meet or run errands (magazines are a trusted form of entertainment and education at hairstylists, in private jets, and airlines lounges, car dealerships, etc.).

All of this creates the potential for extended exposure and repeated impressions of brand ads, something that cannot be said about many digital ads, which are often skipped, avoided with ad blockers, or quickly forgotten.

Integration with Digital Strategies

In this article, we want to highlight all the benefits of print advertising that still offers considerable value to marketers and luxury brands that care about increasing their visibility and building brand awareness.

And although it’s absolutely true that print ads leave a more memorable impression on readers and often are much more effective, there’s no point in running away from digital marketing, especially considering the fact that many exclusive magazines run the digital versions of their publications, earning interest from both the audiences that prefer traditional printed copies, and those who want to have all their content delivered online.

In light of this, many brands and magazines adopt integrated marketing campaigns, utilizing both the power of print and digital ads in their strategies.

A good example of such synergy might be matching a sponsored article in the printed issue with promotional materials included in the magazine’s newsletter and social media posts.

Another situation when combining print and digital ads works really well is with being featured on the cover and also paying for a homepage takeover.

Of course, there are many possible strategies that can be used to benefit from digital and print advertising, and it’s something you should definitely consider in your marketing campaign strategy.

Print Advertising Cost

Although specific rates will differ amongst different publications, it’s expected to pay significantly more for print advertising. As illustrated in this article, it’s not really surprising considering all the value print campaigns bring to advertisers, as well as the costs of creating print advertising versus digital content.

Depending on who you are trying to reach, print advertising might be the backbone of your marketing campaign or a really valuable tool to use to spread the word about what you have to offer to affluent readers and consumers of this world.

As print advertising becomes more and more exclusive in a world where it is quite expensive and digital media are taking over many spaces, luxury brands still choose to pay for that luxury, delivering their consumers a truly exclusive experience.


Luxury brands reach their clients through various means, including print magazines and digital channels. As online campaigns are on the rise, print advertising is still one of the most effective and popular tools used in marketing strategies for many businesses in the luxury sector.

There are many reasons behind this, most of which we presented in this article. Print media, especially luxury publications, offer a certain type of exclusivity and prestige that is hard to replicate in the digital format.

The experience of reading a printed magazine increases the effectiveness of traditional advertisements, offering readers more memorable and emotional sensations.

Print publications come with more longevity, offering extended exposure and the potential for repeated impressions.

And, what’s most important, print advertising still works, offering a stellar response rate and the opportunity to reach demographics that are less active in the digital spaces.

All of this combined makes a great case for print media and advertising, making it one of the most valuable forms of advertisement for luxury brands. 

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