Top 4 themes where print is still king – Insights from Cannes

Published 27 June 2019
Each June, the world turns its eyes to the south of France. This year marked the 65th anniversary of Cannes Lions, the global benchmark for creative marketing and communications. In recent years, Cannes has seen an uptick in all things digital. In a field going digi-crazy, is there still room for print?
Each June, the world turns its eyes to the south of France. This year marked the 65th anniversary of Cannes Lions, the global benchmark for creative marketing and communications. In recent years, Cannes has seen an uptick in all things digital. In a field going digi-crazy, is there still room for print?

Jarno Luotonen, Creative Director for Finnish marketing agency SEK, shares his thoughts on Cannes and the future of print in marketing and communications:

“Print is still very much alive and finding its special powers."

Despite the dominance of digital marketing and communications, and brands like Volvo transitioning from printed to digital brochures, print and high-quality paper are still relevant as ever. Here are four areas in which printed media is gaining strength.

1. Luxury

Tangible objects like handwritten letters, glossy magazines or brochures are valued especially by luxury brands and consumers.

Print allows brands to rise above the digital racket. Numerous studies have indicated that people process print content with greater engagement, focus, and deeper emotional response than content viewed on a screen.

No wonder why so many premium brands still invest in high quality print.

2. Lasting impression

Paper-based reading is slower and more deliberate, leading to greater rates of comprehension and recall. For advertisers, this means that traditional print media ads are more likely to make a lasting impression and lead to more sales. Research has also shown pen and paper to beat the screen when it comes to learning – especially with kids.

3. Innovation

“Dissolving Posters” – BETC/Havas’ 2018 campaign for Habitat for Humanity is a great example of a physical paper innovation. The Brazilian campaign aimed to reduce the number of mosquito-related infections with larvicide-laced posters. The posters dissolve in the rain, killing disease-carrying mosquitoes before they hatch.

The life-saving campaign was awarded a bronze Cannes Lion in 2018.

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Another great example of a paper innovation is Shitty Paper, a campaign where German toilet paper manufacturer Goldeimer repurposed hate propaganda posters as toilet paper. The tongue-in-cheek campaign was also awarded a bronze Lion in the 2018 awards.

Catch the video here

On the digital frontier, augmented reality is already around us but has barely taken off yet considering its potential. Traditional print can offer a platform for digital experiences and we saw some great award-winning disruptive executions at this year’s Cannes Lions. A couple of years back, the New Yorker showcased a wonderful example of how they’ve combined AR with traditional print.

See the video here

4. Creativity

There are still countless uninvented ideas and ways to stand out from the crowd, even with the most traditional formats. A great example of this is a book that is bringing creative disruption to your bookshelf, designed by our UK network agency Grey London.”

Watch here