Physical vs. Digital Advertising

Keep in mind, with each of these examples, that the most important aspect of advertising is the quality of the materials and how they connect with the audience. This article is just about looking at the specific correlations between the physical and digital aspect, with everything else considered equal.

In the world of advertising, almost the entire marketplace has been moving digitally. Digital advertising has opened up a new and exciting way to reach a vast assortment of consumers than was ever available before. The entire world is at our fingertips, and companies can utilize that truth to advertise their product. So, with this in mind, is there still a place in the world for physical advertising? And how does that match up with digital? Let’s look at some of the ways that physical advertising is still incredibly relevant, and why it will likely remain that way…

Physical media is more memorable

One of the biggest benefits of physical advertising is that studies have shown that physical media leaves a deeper footprint on a person’s memory than digital. People can more easily recall physical media they have seen within a week, rather than the same content on a digital screen. Even something like direct mail, which may only be glanced at before it is thrown out, evokes more memory than digital ads. Having a tangible object that can be interacted with simply instills media further into people’s brains.

More emotionally resonant

Physical materials, ones that we can hold in our hands, utilize more emotional processing in our brains, which means that people typically have more of a reaction to them. Being able to touch something makes it more relevant for human beings, and so our brains give that content more weight in its processing. Digital advertising, despite its advancement, risks seeming colder, by comparison.

More personal

Digital advertising has the advantage of being able to be seen by a lot of people, quite easily. It is hard to understate this powerful capability. You can distribute an image, video, or article across the entire world, almost instantly. However, consumers are very much aware of this, and this type of advertising struggles to build a personal connection with them. There’s something inherently more personal about something that you know you can touch, feel, and watch change perspectives. It makes the content more human, in its own strange way. While the content itself has the biggest effect of all, you can’t underestimate the power of feeling like something is real.

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