Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Kick in the Listicles: 7 Reasons Digital Media Are Inferior to Print

It's no wonder a Viagra TV ad features a press operator, not a web geek.

In honor of the second annual International Print Day, today the Dead Tree Edition Research Institute and Tiddlywinks Club delves into why print -- specifically, printed magazines -- are better than digital media. The list is endless, but because yesterday was the Institute's seventh birthday (Here's my first blog post, from Oct. 13, 2008. It kind of sucks.), we are limiting the list to seven:

1) Sexiness
I have a confession to make: At my day job, those of us who work on the magazines love to throw around suggestive print terms like "blow-ins," "dot whacking," and "droop." It drives the web guys crazy because they think we're having all the fun while they can only discuss such exciting concepts as viewability and third-party data.

Our attractive female art director really got their attention the other day when she was looking at a paper sample and shouted, "This is too limp. I need something with more stiffness and bulk!" We've even got the webbies convinced that "trim" and "bleed" are some kind of kinky print terms a la 50 Shades of Grayscale.

Let's face it, folks: The web has listicles, but print has balls.

2) 3-year-olds
You can't break the screen on a magazine.

3) Advertising
The digital geniuses have been doing web ads for 20 years and still haven't figured out how to make any money from them without annoying the hell out of everybody and crashing our browsers.

Magazines are now guaranteeing results for advertisers.
Meanwhile, the good old right-hand ad page next to a left-hand editorial page performs just fine, without popups, popunders, popovers, Pop Tarts, or other digitally enhanced annoyances.

4) Scent strips
Ladies, here is today's money-saving tip: Instead of buying expensive perfume, just subscribe to three fashion magazines. It will probably cost you only $15 a year (Sad, but true) and provide a wide array of scented ads.

Just open a scent strip, touch it to your body, and re-close the strip for later use. You'll have enough scents ads to keep you smelling pretty every day of the year (unless you're like the girl Mr. Tree briefly dated in high school, who didn't know the difference between "dab" and "bathe." I still get flashbacks when I get a whiff of Charlie perfume's distinctive dying-skunk scent.)

5) Flies
Ever swatted one with an iPad?

6) Privacy
If you subscribe to a magazine, the publisher knows your name and mailing address and has some SWAGs (Sophisticated Wild Ass Guesses) about your gender, age, and household income.

But on the web, each page you visit and each link you click is fair game for the ad techies who track your every move and sell the data to the highest bidder so you can be "served" ads that are specially selected just for you. They also make it convenient for hackers to learn about those naughty web sites you've visited so they can "serve" you with blackmail attempts that are specially customized just for you.

7) Retargeting
If you look at a magazine ad for a pair of pants and decide not to buy, you can move on with your life. But look at those same pants in an e-store and they'll stalk you for the next two weeks in retargeted ads wherever you go on the web.

Haunted pants really freak me out. They remind me of that awful 70s song "You Make My Pants Want To Get Up and Dance."

Footnote: I know that some of my longtime fans (all 20 of you) were hoping for a reprise of last year's Ten Ways to Celebrate International Print Day, but this year I chose to celebrate in my own private way: Early this morning, I snuck into the bathrooms at the HQ of blatant greenwasher Capital Bank, emptied the toilet-paper holders, and plastered them with "Go Paperless, Go Green" stickers.


Anonymous said...

I love your sense of humor! Here's one for you - in the '60s, my dad worked in the pre-press department at one of the big printers. His tax return listed his employment title as "stripper". We still tease him about that 50+ years later. He was a very good stripper, by the way.

Anonymous said...

8. Can't leave a used iPad for that birdcage bottom. 9. Can't shred or recycle junk email like you can with junk mail. 10. You also know in your deepest heart that junk mail can tail off or cease, but junk email goes on and on and on.

Anonymous said...

Your magazine comes permanently charged too!