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Yes, Magazines Rock as Ad Platforms

Optimistic thinking from a print geek? Nope, it’s scientific fact from consumer research.

It’s not idle speculation, but a scientific fact:  Magazines are scientifically proven to be really effective as advertising platforms.

“Research into subconscious responses to ads indicates that magazines actually offer a highly effective context for placing ads,” writes Heather Andrew, CEO of Neuro-Insight UK.  “At Magnetic’s recent Spark North event I discussed how the brain responds to magazine reading, and why audiences are especially engaged by the medium.”

Andrew bases her assertions on research that her company conducted, designed to explore reader engagement.

“We tested the actual brain responses of 180 women aged 18-34 to seeing, hearing and reading Heat across its four platforms – print mag, online, radio and TV. Respondents saw editorial content and advertising campaigns for a number of products,” Andrew continues.

“The results showed that the Heat brand elicited strong responses across all four platforms. A significantly higher level of activity was seen in most brain regions when looking at the advertising campaigns within the Heat context, compared to multimedia campaigns across mixed media brands.”

So what’s going on here? Why is an ad in print so effective at stimulating reader engagement? Andrew has some ideas.

“Magazines attract us because they tap into three drivers [emotion, narrative and personal relevance],” she explains. “More closely targeted than many other media, the skill of an editor is to boost this targeted effect by designing content which will tap into the target readers’ emotions because it is personally relevant to them.”

It’s not the first time that science proves print’s resonance, and how ads work on our brains. It is, however, further evidence and a good primer on why good magazine ads work so darn well.

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