Long Live Print

There’s a familiar refrain these days from many. They say that “print is dead” or “print is dying” and that everything will be replaced by digital. While I can see digital moving into certain specific niche markets—digital signage screens in malls, airports, hotels, cruise ships—I can’t see it in packaging, for instance. I don’t know about you, but I think a digital screen on my box of Cheerios would freak me out a little—especially pre-coffee.

Print is not dead. In fact, it’s very much alive and kicking—and my poor, tired feet after a week at drupa in Dusseldorf, Germany are proof positive. I think the most important message coming out of that show was this: print has potential and the market is investing heavily in the future. And the industry invested heavily in this show. All 1,850 exhibitors took the time (two weeks or more if you count set-up and tear-down) to showcase the best they had to offer to 314,500 attendees from more than 130 countries. For a brief overview of some of the top highlights from the show, check out this video here: bit.ly/J9VBEj. I just love the fact that drupa has its own theme song—and now, music video. I don’t think any other trade show can say the same.

Print still also plays an integral part of large brands and their advertising campaigns. Take for instance the program Royal Caribbean International debuted this past February in New York City. While they were using radio and television spots, they also invested in a print campaign targeting one of the largest populations of commuters in the world. According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), New York City Transit is the largest public transportation agency in North America and one of the largest in the world. The subway has a daily ridership of 5.2 million and an annual ridership in 2011 of roughly 1.6 billion. The 42nd Street shuttle has more than one million riders a day. So when Royal Caribbean wanted to get in touch with potential customers, it took its message to the subways.

“New York is a large sourcing market for Royal, with cruises leaving from New Jersey. The shuttle in particular is an excellent way to bring the Royal experience to the one million plus riders per day,” said Betsy O’Rourke, SVP, Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “Our global research indicated that we need to connect with potential customers when they least expect to hear from us, but need the benefits of a Royal vacation the most; namely, on a busy morning commute during the winter months. We wanted to bring Royal to the people.”

You can read more about the project on page 28 of this issue, or go online to www.myprintresource.com/10713221 to see additional images and an expanded article.

Is print dead? No. Has it changed? Yes. Print will continue to exist right alongside digital, providing complimentary reach to brands as they work to get their message out to their current and potential customers. Long live print!