How to Analyze Print Media
By Andrea V. Lewis
Updated September 26, 2017
Print media is advertisements that run in newspapers and magazines. Advertisements is a form of communication that businesses use to inform and persuade the public. Whether, we are conscious of them or not, print advertisements are all around us. The average American is exposed to approximately 3,000 advertising messages on a daily basis. Analyzing print ads will allow you to uncover the hidden truth's behind brand's objectives.
Flip through a magazine and find an ad that catches your attention. Print ads only have approximately two to three seconds to grab the reader's attention. The overall design, which heavily relies on the image or images, not only sets the tone of the ad, but primes the reader for the-copy.
Look at the visual components of an ad, once you've found one that interests you. Ask yourself: How is the company, product or service depicted? How does the image or images relate to the copy?
Next study the copy You can define the strategy within a print ad by analyzing its copy. Look at the headline, if there is one. How does it grab your attention? Does the message focus on the emotional experience or does it focus on specific attributes?
Then analyze the publication. What demographic details does the publication give away? Is this magazine marketed towards males or females? Average household income? Education status? What can you assume about the reader's lifestyle?
Finally, define the call to action. Consumers want to know, “What’s in it for me." What does the ad direct the consumer to do? Visit our website for more information; send in this coupon for a free sample and visit a local dealer for a test drive today are all examples of calls to action.
Take a step back and look at the message as a whole and you’ll discover that advertisements are a mixture of visually and verbal cues to entice consumers for a moment or two of their time.
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Based in Los Angeles, CA, Andrea V. Lewis has been working at full-service advertising agencies and marketing firms since 2005. Her blog posts have been featured on the Brazen Careerist website, among others. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications with a concentration in advertising, from California State University, Fullerton.