The Top 5 Reasons Advertisers Buy Print Ads (And How to Design Them)

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Advertisers buy ads in newspapers and magazines for a variety of reasons, and for each reason there is a corresponding way to design the ad to make the most out of the space. Here are a few of the most common reasons advertisers we work with purchase print ads, and some of the attributes of ads that we’ve seen work well.

1.) General Branding – These ads lend themselves to the most creativity. Most companies use branding ads to position themselves in the marketplace and create a memorable image in the reader’s mind. The goal is to get consumers to recognize a brand instantly, and associate certain values and ideas with the brand. For example, these companies have done an amazing job with branding over the years, and are ranked as the top brands globally according to Interbrand. So how do you craft a successful branding ad?

a.) Distinct Logo – Companies use a unique, distinct logo that they showcase in print and other mediums.

b.) Eye-Catching/Evocative  Imagery – Print ads won’t work if the images are boring or easily flipped by. From beautiful photography to unbelievably creative illustrations and design, the images branding ads use must make the reader stop in their tracks and take notice.

c.) Memorable Slogan – Whether it’s Nike’s “Just Do It” or McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It”, most branding ads use a short, memorable slogan that sticks with a reader.

d.) Repetition – It takes a while to drill messaging into the subconscious minds of consumers. If the goal is branding, advertisers must buy many ads over the course of time to drive home the message.

Branding Ad Sample We Like:


2.) Direct-Response – Direct-response advertising’s main purpose is straightforward – to get as many people to respond to the ad as possible, as soon as possible. Here are some direct-response ad features we’ve seen work well:

a.) Compelling Offer to Consumer – The ad either offers a deep discount or other special incentive to the consumer to respond right away.
b.) Large/Easy-To-Read Response Mechanism – Whether it’s a phone number or website, the ad has to give the reader an easy way to respond.

c.) Enough Information for Consumer to Take Action – Giving consumers bait to call to learn more is one thing, but you always want to make sure to include enough information and description about the product or service to help them make an informed decision to call/visit. This leads to a high-intent, qualified potential customer.

Direct-Response Ad Sample We Like:

Image Source

3.) Event Marketing – Advertisers often use print to advertise an event they’re hosting. Here’s what to include in event ads:

a.) Clear Description of Date/Time – Make sure to include the who, what, when, where why & how in the Event Description. The more questions you leave with readers, the less likely they are to attend your event.

b.) Clear RSVP Instructions – If your event requires an RSVP, make sure you include a prominent way for readers to get in touch with you.

Event Marketing Ad Sample We Like:EventSample

4.) Classified Advertising – Classified ads are affordable text ads often found in the back of newspapers and magazines. Typically these are local ads, but sometimes national companies use them too.

a.) Clear, Concise Text – The main thing about a classified ad is you have to fit a lot of info in a little space, so copy is key. It must be short, to the point, and include a phone number.

Classified Sample We Like:
Switch to DIRECTV and get a $100 Gift Card. FREE Whole-Home Genie HD/DVR upgrade.  Starting at $19.99/mo.  New Customers Only.  Don’t settle for cable. Call Now 1-800-XXXX

5.) Local Retail Sales – This ad type is typically for local advertisers who are looking to get the word out about sales at their brick and mortar stores in their community.

a.) Clear Description of Discount/Sale Items  – This type of ad usually features a limited time sale or showcase of products that are on sale for a specific date range.

b.) Store Hours/Contact Information/Directions – Since these are local businesses, location information is very important.

Local Retail Sample Ad We Like:

Are you looking to place some print advertising? MediaBids can help. Shoot us an email at or call 1-860-379-9602.

Post by Jessica Greiner


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