“Power of Print” Ad Campaign Dispels Rumors


Posted by Rachel Landes

I love the Internet. You love the Internet. We all love the Internet.

But I also love magazines.

So why is it that so many critics today say I can’t have both?

The argument over whether or not the Internet is killing magazines can be likened to a soft-serve ice cream machine as far as I’m concerned.

Magazines, in this instance, are touted as perhaps vanilla—traditional, plain and boring (although I vehemently disagree). The Internet, or the chocolate, is multi-dimensional and a little more exotic.

What cynics have forgotten about, though, is the swirled cone. Twirled to perfection, the vanilla and chocolate are amicably situated side-by-side.

Thanks to magazine industry heavy hitters, a print campaign is now in place to cleverly dispel the rumors that their beloved industry is dying. And that swirled cones are definitely the way to go.

Entitled “Magazines: The Power of Print,” the effort is a series of ads that provide straightforward statements on the actual nature of the industry. Magazine titles are strategically used in place of plain text throughout the statements.

As a magazine student, I’m overjoyed to see the presidents and/or chairmen of Hearst Magazines, Meredith National Media, Time Inc., Condé Nast and Wenner Media pipe up. Maybe now mag students can take a break from answering the relentless question of why on earth we would be studying a dying trade. We’re studying it because it’s not dying. It’s evolving.

So the real question is: are you a vanilla, chocolate or swirl cone? What will it take for people to realize magazines are still extremely relevant? (You can start by directing them to this informative list of stats.)


12 responses to ““Power of Print” Ad Campaign Dispels Rumors

  1. Magazines are an experience. I love to feel the weight of Vogue’s September issue. I love the way voices of familiar writers rise from the pages. The smell of glossy paper mixed with perfume samples is pure glamour. I don’t mind dropping $4.99, because to me, buying a magazine is an investment. It’s a snapshot of history like none other. Dramatic or not, these are the reasons I’m a magazines major. They are the reasons I believe magazines will always be relevant.

    That being said, I think the Power of Print campaign does more to boost journalists’ self esteem than it does to increase sales. Also, I don’t think that the adds are advocating a “swirled cone” model. Though most magazines have online editions, these adds seem to support print editions more. I, like you I’m sure, am for whatever flavor of ice cream gets us all a job, and though there is, like you said, a rapidly growing online market, I think there is power in the physical magazine experience.

  2. Abby, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment about why magazines are still relevant. They’re an escape.

    In regards to my swirled cone theory, I meant more so that many have been so taken with the Internet and all it has to offer (the chocolate), that perhaps they’ve forgotten about the vanilla, the actual print magazine. And, more importantly, I think they’ve forgotten that both can mix–hence the swirl cone.

    In the end, though, yes I’ll take whatever combo of ice cream flavors will land me the job I’ve been dreaming of for years.

  3. I really enjoyed your connection between ice cream and magazine. I love both. I want both in my life. I think I can have both.

    When I read, I love to have the physical pages in front of me, to be able to flip through to see how many pages are left, to feel the weight, see the ink. I love reading books, newspapers and magazine. I like to indulge in the words to learn and explore, to experience something unfamiliar to me. Magazines play with the niche, creating their own areas of interest. I think these areas will continue to drive magazine. A website can’t offer me what a magazine can. I like tradition. I like print.

  4. I would love to be a vanilla cone, but obviously magazines aren’t just print anymore. I love the traditional, print, oldschool style of journalism–but swirl is the best out of the three options, for sure. I like how magazines are making their print more Internet-friendly. In magazines, pages will have “visit our site to find out more about ‘blah blah blah'”. It’s a good way to make sure readers are still reading the actual magazine, but the website will get more hits, too. I think it’s important to have a good balance of print readers and online readers. It’s the best of both worlds.

    It’s important to realize that magazines are going online, but print isn’t going to stop anytime soon. It’s just changing. But I agree, Rachel. Students need to learn how to adjust to this so we know all about the twirl–not just vanilla–because that’s where journalism is right now. Great reference.

  5. I’m vanilla. Call me boring but the feel of an actual magazine in my hand is much more satisfactory than scrolling through pages of print. I think print is easier to read and even more convenient in my opinion. Unless you have an ipad or kindle or whatever other new and hip technology there is out there, its pretty hard to start up your laptop sitting in the subway, or lounging on the couch. Print magazines are more convenient in my eyes. They’re right there, no rebooting or crashing necessary.

    It’s hard to ignore the fact that magazines are evolving and more are becoming dependent on technology, but I wholeheartedly agree that print magazines will not die, and magazines as a whole is not a dying trend.

    We know how to adapt, which makes magazine writers and editors that much more relevant in today’s changing technologies.

  6. I’m right there with all of you. I would–and probably forever will–rather read a hard copy of a magazine over the Internet version. There’s something almost entrancing about the glossy pages, and large, full page spreads. While I enjoy following up online about something I’ve read in a print article, nothing will replace the feeling of a magazine in hand or the excitement I get when a new issue comes in the mail each month.

    Emily–you are by no means boring. Deep down in my heart, I’m all about the vanilla cone. I have come to realize, as I’m sure you and most other journalists, that we have to be willing to enjoy the swirl cone. At least if we want a job, that is.

  7. I do not believe that magazines (or books for that matter) will ever be replaced, and I certainly hope I’m right. I share your passion for the experience of a magazine. I love holding that book in my hands, diving in, and wandering through every page. I love that magazines fit a niche, my niche– they are made for me, and they know what I want to hear. And I love that I can return to a magazine again and again, and know exactly where it is. No searching required. There is a place for the Internet, of course. But for me, the Internet is more for getting directions and news updates than enjoying in-depth articles and advise. Now, I know it’s important these days that magazines have both an online and print presence. You can reach more people, and have a different experience. Rachel makes a good point in saying us journalists have to enjoy the swirl cone if we want a job, even if many of us would prefer to stick with vanilla.

    Rachel, “The Power of Print” ads are great, and I enjoyed the video you posted. Thank you for sharing those! I do not think magazines are dying. I think most of the people who claim that are outside our industry, and don’t understand the changes that are happening.

  8. Nicole Sternhagen

    Great analogy – the ice cream and simple way of putting it drew me right in. Thanks for the encouragement that magazines are NOT dying.

  9. I’m glad the ice cream analogy worked– I figured I might as well put my sweet tooth to good use!

  10. I absolutely love magazines!! I prefer them to the internet; I like being able to turn pages, I like the glossy pages. Everything about a magazine is appealing to me. However, the internet is too useful to ignore, and I always look at magazine articles online. I loved your ice cream analogy! I think we tend to forget that two can coexist.

  11. Haha! I loved the ice cream analogy! I’m definitely a vanilla, but I’m trying to be more swirl for my future’s sake. I think that people love magazines because they are tangible. People enjoy flipping pages, filling in crossword puzzles, bending down corners to mark things they enjoyed, and taking quizzes. Look at the airport scenario: most people travel with their laptop. But how often do you see people reading magazines on a plane (almost everyone) and how often do you see people reading an online magazine on their laptop (rarely)? Magazines still have a place. But finding that swirl balance will be crucial to their success.

  12. trevormickelson

    Excellent analogy! Obviously you received a lot of good feedback on this style of writing so it proved to be a good way to reach your audience. I look at myself as a fan of the swirled cone. While I prefer having an actual magazine in my hand, I find myself turning to the Internet when reading articles because of the convenience and affordability. However, I cannot envision the magazine industry ever becoming obsolete or disappearing.

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