Relative Effectiveness of Print and Digital Advertising: A Memory Perspective
59 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2018 Last revised: 18 Oct 2018
Date Written: September 1, 2018
The exponential growth in digital media has raised questions about the relevance of print media in the overall marketing mix. In this study, we evaluate the relative effectiveness of print and digital media in advertising using a multi-methodological approach. Using eye-tracking and neurophysiological measures during exposure, we show that print ads are associated with greater levels of engagement and arousal, while digital ads are associated with shorter but more directed processing. When participants retrieved information about the ads a week later, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we demonstrate increased activation in the hippocampus and the parahippocampus regions for print relative to digital ads. Based on the postulated role of these brain regions in memory retrieval, we hypothesize that print ads lead to better encoding of contextual information and associations among the ad contents. We validate these hypotheses in an independent follow-up behavioral study. These findings suggest that print media have certain notable advantages in terms of memory encoding and retrieval, highlighting the importance of both print and digital media in advertising and marketing communications.
Keywords: Print media, digital media, episodic memory, fMRI
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