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Do Your Print Ads Grab Attention Fast Enough?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 @ 08:40 AM

Do Your Print Ads Grab Attention Fast Enough?

These days, about the only thing getting shorter than people’s patience, is people’s attention span. And, as these attention spans shrink, marketers must find ways to use their advertising to hook customers quickly.

Just how miniscule is the current human attention span?

Consider that the ordinary gold fish, swimming around and around and around in his tiny bowl, has an attention span of only nine seconds. And he STILL has us beat! Recent studies have found the human attention span is only eight seconds. It seems that along with providing convenient communication and funny cat videos, modern technology is distracting us.

The TIME survey found some major differences with attention spans among generations. For instance, 77% of people aged 18 to 24 responded “yes” when asked, “When nothing is occupying my attention, the first thing I do is reach for my phone,” compared with only 10% of those over the age of 65.

According to an article in Bloomberg Magazine, generation Z, those under the age of 19, are even more distracted. “They multi-task across five screens: TV, phone, laptop, desktop and either a tablet or some handheld gaming device, spending 41 percent of their time outside of school with computers of some kind or another, compared to 22 percent 10 years ago. Because of that they ‘lack situational awareness, are oblivious to their surroundings and unable to give directions’.”

No doubt you heard about the injuries that were sustained by some young people who were so involved in the Pokeman Go app, that they walked into traffic, tumbled off of ocean bluffs, and were even been robbed. That’s how distracted they were!

But what does all of this mean for today’s marketers?

It means you not only have to create print ads that convert, you’ve got to create print ads that grab people’s attention in the first place!

Here are a few tips to help you do it:

Use Smart Design

The quicker your readers can get information, the better. Design your print ads so that the eyes can easily move from one element to the next. Make it easy for your prospects to make the decision they want to find out more about your offer.

To do this, leverage the power of the inverted pyramid. Make sure you put your most important information at the top (or in the forefront), then trickle down to the least important information.

To figure out which information should be included, answer six basic questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

Make it Readable

Know what will make readers ignore your ad? If they feel they need to struggle to read it. Use clean type face that’s easy for the eyes to scan. Less is more in this scenario. The fewer words your prospect have to read the more quickly they’ll be able to determine if your offer relates to their needs.

Keep it Consistent 

When it comes to visual design, using the same fonts, colors and element styles will make it easy for your prospects to move through your ad because they won’t be forced to learn something new visually.

Make it Interactive and Engaging

People assume print ads and print collateral are boring compared to digital ads, but that does not have to be the case. Touch is one of the most satisfying sensory experiences, so use it to your advantage. Engage readers in this medium by using different textures, glosses or finishes that stand out and hold their attention.Two smiling women lying on the floor are both reading a magazine-1.jpeg


If you’ve been struggling to create print ads that capture and hold your prospects’ attention, we can help. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you design ads that make an impact on your audience and your bottom line!



Topics: magazines, magazine advertising, newspaper, local newspaper advertising, innovative print ads, creative print ads, print ads

Newspaper Ads Capture Attention With or Without Content

Posted by Hannah Hill on Tue, Oct 29, 2013 @ 01:27 PM

When was the last time a newspaper ad captured your attention? Hopefully you don’t have to rack your brain too hard to remember. If you read the New York Times on a regular basis you only have to think back to last Wednesday when 20th Century Fox ran a two-page ad for the film adaptation of the best-selling novel, “The Book Thief,” which opens November 8. The ad closely aligns with the story’s plot in which the main character is a young girl living in Nazi Germany who steals books and shares them with the Jewish man she’s hiding in her basement. For those of you who didn’t see the ad, it’s included below for your reference. Yes, it’s the blank white space below this paragraph.

Newspaper Ads Capture Attention With or Without Content

You’d be lying if you said two blank pages in the main section of a newspaper wouldn’t capture your attention. First, you’d notice the lack of content and think it was a printing error. Then, as you were about to turn the page, you’d see another blank page and maybe think to yourself, “Man, print really is dying.” But then you’d notice the small print below the ad containing the URL wordsarelife.com. Maybe you would visit the website. Maybe you wouldn’t. But you’d definitely wonder who was behind it and why some advertiser paid $211,680 (at a rate of $105,840 per full-page black and white) to run a nearly-blank newspaper ad in the New York Times. There’s a lot to be learned from this newspaper ad, so let’s dive in.

In the case of this ad, less really was more. This just goes to show that simplicity in advertising can be powerful. The New York Times was a smart choice for this creative ad unit for a number of reasons. First of all, the New York Times is one of the most widely circulated newspapers in the United States. With an average weekday circulation of 2,999,241, when you combine both its print and digital editions, the publication captures a significant chunk of the population. Secondly, the median household income of its readers is $94,572, which means they have disposable income (music to any advertiser’s ears), and more than 60% have a college degree. Print media, such as the Times, is an effective way for advertisers to reach Newspaper Ads Capture Attention With or Without Contentaffluent and educated consumers. Download our white paper to learn more about that. Lastly, “The Book Thief” has been on the New York Times bestseller list since it was released in 2005. Newspaper readers are likely the type to curl up with a good book on a Sunday afternoon, so there’s a good chance many of the newspaper’s subscribers read the book and would be likely to see the movie, especially if they were exposed to an eye-catching newspaper ad like this one.

Julie Rieger, 20th Century Fox Executive VP-Media, said the New York Times was strategically selected as the sole publication to run the ad. "You wonder, what would the world be like without words, without the New York Times. It's a very symbiotic relationship. There are only few things so powerful." Hopefully we never have to experience a world without the editorial and ad content of the Times, let alone newspapers in general. We previously looked at what would happen if we gave up newspapers and it wasn’t pretty. This ad gets me thinking about more than a box of Reese’s Pieces or Raisinets (my go-to movie treats), though I do want to see the movie. On a deeper level it’s an ad for what the future would look like without print. “Without words, life is nothing but a blank page. Words tell our stories. They define our history. They have shaped who were are and who we’ll become.”

As a bookworm myself, I encourage you to read the book before you see the movie. There is a reason it hasn’t fallen off the New York Times bestseller list. Watch the trailer if you need more convincing. Also, subscribe to a newspaper because there are bound to be more innovative print ads you won’t want to miss. Remember to grab our white paper ‘Proven Methods for Reaching Affluent and Educated Consumers’ if you want learn how to improve your reach within that demographic.

Download Proven Methods for Reaching Affluent and Educated Consumers


  1. What If You Had Given Up Newspapers for Lent?
  2. Four Reasons Newspaper Advertising Still Matters to Your Business
  3. The ABCs of Local Newspaper Advertising

Hannah Hill is a marketing specialist at Mediaspace Solutions. Her marketing experience includes writing, inbound marketing, social media and event management. You can connect with Hannah on LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

Topics: newspaper advertising, newspaper ads, innovative print ads