Is Your Advertising Sticky?

When was the last time you saw an ad on TV, on a passing bus, or even on your mobile device, and you felt compelled to keep it? Wait… what?

Yeah, say you wanted to keep it as a reminder. How would you do it? Of course, you can’t. More and more, we are presented with momentary media. Ads that are seen one second and then gone the next. Often at less than ideal times of the day when we are focused on other tasks. However, there is one media that people inherently tend to hang on to. If you guessed print media, you are correct.

Something about the tangible nature of print ads makes them “Sticky.” People tend to hang on to print ads when they see something and want to find out more, or are enticed by a special offer. That doesn’t happen with most other ads.

Have you ever used a coupon that was past the expiration date? That’s a perfect example of sticky advertising. A coupon can be a month or two old, but It’ still working for the advertiser. That’s smart marketing and unique to print.

Here’s more proof: We conducted a test that confirmed the longevity of print ads. Recently, a long-time postcard client decided to “Explore Other Options” with their advertising. As part of their campaign, we supplied them with a call tracking number so everyone knew exactly how many calls the ads generated each month. We extended their call tracking for 120 days past their last mail date to see what would happen. Here is a quick chart showing their call activity:

As expected, calls dropped off after the ad stopped mailing. But look at how many calls still came through at two, three, and even four months after the ad stopped running. Amazing huh?

When you discontinue digital advertising, the clicks stop. When TV ads no longer run, the phone doesn’t ring. Are we saying you should ditch your digital and video ads? Of course not. We encourage and sell multi-channel ad campaigns because we know that no one media works all the time for everyone. But it’s clear, print has a staying power unlike any other form of advertising. And it deserves a place in your media mix.