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Happ-E Birthday, or The Power of Print

The last decade has seemed to be something of a death spiral for the print industry, with clients eschewing paper for e-anything. Remember books? Sorry, e-readers are all the rage. No doubt that e- is important in advertising, offering possibilities for hyper-targeted reach and granular metrics about results. But as I’ve watched so many of companies basically pull their budgets from print, I’ve had a nagging thought: don’t send me an e-card for my birthday.

It’s great for the Facebook world at large to write on my wall every September 29th, but the printed, hand-written (and sometimes hand-delivered!) cards are what make me smile. That’s the power of print – yes, it’s more expensive; no, it’s not necessarily as targetable and trackable; yes, it still has a place in our society.

So it made me happy to read about the new $10 million print campaign breaking for plus-size fashion brand Lane Bryant. Despite the fact that the company, which was started in 1904 by a Lithuanian dressmaker, was sold earlier this year for $890 million –  they have been suffering from the effects recession. Why are they turning to print? Because it still has the power to engage – perhaps even more so, since less people are shelling out the bucks to do it.

Per Liz Crystal, CMO for Lane Bryant (which hasn’t done major magazine advertising since pre-recession 2007), their audience is “engaged with print. She uses print to learn about fashion.” [Source: NY Tmes] Bravo!

Don’t worry – the century+ old fashion brand hasn’t eschewed the e-world. Their Facebook page and website are part of the mix, as they should be. But I’m really glad to see that print is as well. For certain types of products, there is nothing like leafing through the printed pages and lingering on those that catch your consumer eye. The last time I checked, it’s pretty hard to tear out and online ad while you’re at the hair salon and put it in your purse.

Note: Robyn Lawley is one of the models in this new campaign. Just last week I wrote about her being the face of another campaign for Boux Avenue. Seems like she’s one to watch…

~ @AdvertGirl


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