Print versus online media

A study was done a couple years ago that compared print and virtual advertisements. The researchers showed study participants two ads, one was on screen and the other was printed on paper. They did an MRI on the participants to see how their brains responded to the ads.

The study found that:

  • "Physical materials produced more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater 'internalization'"
  • "Physical material involves more emotional processing"
  • physical presentation of information "may be generating more emotionally vivid
  • "Tangible materials leave a deeper footprint in the brain"
  • print materials have "a more personal effect, and therefore should aid motivation"
  • "While in no way denigrating virtual media, which clearly has specific benefits in terms of targeting and interactivity, the study does reveal that there is something special about the physical medium."

This study suggests that print marketing materials can be more effective than virtual ones.

Study link:

Animal advocacy is not exactly the same as marketing, but there are similarities. From this study, we can draw the conclusion that the act of physical leafleting is valuable work that likely has serious tangible benefits. Most likely, whenever someone receives a copy of Compassionate Choices from Vegan Outreach, and they look it over, they have an emotional memory with a significant personal effect.

Clearly, virtual media has enormous benefits due to ease of production, lower cost, less waste, interactivity, and more. However, this study shows an enormous benefit to print media as well.

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