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.”
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.
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?