New “Power of Print” Ads Trash Talk Internet


By: Hayley Mason

When I first saw the new Magazines: The Power of Print ads last spring, they gave me hope.  In the world of a magazine major, where I am constantly told by my parents and non-journalism student peers that magazines are dying, the ads were a nice reminder that readers do still enjoy the glossy, tangible print versions of magazines.

Additionally, the collaboration between Conde Nast, Hearst Magazines, Meredith Corporation, Time Inc. and Wenner Media was inspiring.  To see the heads of competing publications working together to save an industry I want to work in sent to me, as well as to the general public a message; magazines are here to stay.  According to MultiVu, a PR newswire company, “With the full support of the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA), the campaign targets advertisers, shareholders and industry influencers, and seeks to reshape the broader conversation about magazines, challenge misperceptions about the medium’s relevancy and longevity, and reinforce magazines’ important cultural role.”

An older "Power of Print" ad

The ads have indeed started this conversation.  However, the tone of this conversation has changed with the “Power  of Print” ads that just came out.  Featuring, a woman laying in a hammock presumably reading a magazine, the new ads don’t just promote print magazines, but also comment on the drawbacks to the internet.  “They (print magazines) don’t show video or deliver pop up ads out of nowhere,” the new ads state.

New ads

While, the creators were most likely trying to send the same message as the other advertisements, I found this one to be slightly distasteful.  Although I know there is an importance to advocating the longevity of print media, journalists must also accept that the internet has opened up an even wider array of markets and target audiences.  Magazine websites that offer additional content, blogs from different publications, iPad versions of publications, and many other web-based versions of content allow magazines to reach many more people than was once possible.  I’d like to see the ads go back to merely advocating print, rather than attacking something we need to embrace and utilize.

Do you agree that the new ads have taken a different direction from the previous ones, or are they merely promoting the same message?  Do you prefer your content delivered through print or electronically?  What are other ways that publishers can advocate print?


6 responses to “New “Power of Print” Ads Trash Talk Internet

  1. I was in the process of typing up a post in Word when you posted this—so thank you for that. I agree that these ads do provide a sense of hope for all magazine and other print journalism majors at universities across the nation. However, I disagree that the latest ad was distasteful.
    In the article posted by the NY Times, the author says this is the first ad to “assail” the Internet, but nowhere in the “Magazine” campaign does it go as far as to attack the web. The harshest paragraph was the first when describing the lack of pop-up adds in print and the inability to DVR or play games on them. In my eyes, that’s not distasteful, it’s the truth.

  2. Jessica Anderson

    I didn’t find their new ad distasteful. In my eyes, the ad succeeds because of the “truth defense”–what they are claiming is true, print magazines don’t show video or deliver pop up ads out of nowhere. I think that they are just doing a good job of showing the shortcomings of Internet and highlighting the strengths of magazines. It seems like typical advertising to me–they are simply demonstrating that they provide something different than the competition.

  3. Maybe distasteful is not the best word. However as true as the statements made in the ad are, I still think they are knocking the internet, something as journalists we need to embrace. As I said in my post, advocating for print is important, but so is adapting to new technology.

    • katherine dewitt

      I understand where you are coming from. Maybe “distasteful” wasn’t the best word, but I get your point. I agree that I love these ads. It does give hope to us journalists, and I love seeing them in magazines. I also agree that journalists should embrace the Internet. Even though I like to hold the magazine I’m reading rather than reading news online, the Internet is a great tool for magazines to use and it’s important journalism students understand this. I understand where you’re coming from, Hayley.

  4. I don’t think the new ads are distasteful or going against the overall campaign. The ads aren’t putting the Internet ‘down,’ but using the argument that magazines are good sources of information as well. The ads are drawing on the strengths of magazine, trying to appeal to readers who value print media. The Internet and print are very different avenues. I believe these ads desire to make those differences clear.

  5. I think the campaign’s newest ad does a better job at highlighting the differences in a more tactful way.

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