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Full Page Magazine Ads vs Online Product Placement Videos

Please watch this video BEFORE reading the blog post below.

Let's try to imagine being a media buyer for a moment or two. Better yet, consider that you've been making media buys for years, so you've purchased your fair share of full-page magazine ads.

What is the real dynamic of buying a full-page ad from a magazine publisher? As the media buyer, you know the demographics of the magazine, you control the message in the ad, and you know the one-time fee the publisher charges. Right?

Next up are the expectations. As the media buyer, you're probably trying to drive sales of the product in the ad, you're trying to get out a branding message, or possibly you're attempting to do both. I get that and I didn't even go to school for ad buying.

Here are the promises made to you by the magazine publisher:

  • He guarantees you he'll cash the check you give him for the ad
  • He guarantees you he'll print XXX,xxx copies of the magazine
  • He guarantees you he'll distribute those copies to the subscribers and news stands

That's it. That's where the guarantees end. Here's what the publisher will NOT guarantee:

  • How many people even open the magazine
  • How many people even see your ad
  • How many people act on your ad

Sure, you can put in a promo code or other tracking code to try to measure the response. I get that.

ad views chart


But it gets worse. That magazine ad you purchased, well, it ends up in the recycling bin sometimes in just a few weeks and most definitely after a few months. Your ad is old news. It's a flash in the pan.

Don't get me wrong. Full-page magazine ads work, but they come with baggage. Lots of it.

After the magazine is printed, the impact of the full page ad you purchased goes down like a rock dropped from a plane. Just look at the graph at the left showing a hypothetical open rate on a popular building magazine I get - Fine Homebuilding.

I say hypothetical because I know the publisher has no idea when people open the magazine. I do know from my own reading habits that sometimes it's a month before I get to open an issue.

In other words, you better get a heck of a response for that ad, because the next magazine issue is coming out in 30 days and your ad is not going to be seen unless you pay AGAIN for another one to appear. That's really important to understand. You have to keep PAYING the publisher to print your ad.

And what did you pay for that full-page ad? Full-page magazine ads can start at $15,000 and go up to $115,000 in my vertical - home building and remodeling market. Gulp! That's a lot of money to spend:

  • HOPING that you get some sort of response
  • Hoping that some subscribers see your ad
  • Hoping that they act on your ad
  • Wishing you could really measure what happened with your ad

Try an Online Video Instead

Let's try something different and take that same money you spent on the full-page magazine ad but invest it in several online videos about the product(s) you featured in the ad.

Video Screen Shot.jpg

If you invest that money with me, you can get multiple HD videos made about your product. Did that sink in? Multiple videos made that last forever instead of a one-time magazine ad that ends up in a plastic bin then in the back of a garbage truck.

The videos can be made in just a few days after the product-placement buy and then be immediately uploaded to any number of online video sites such as YouTube or Blinx. Often you can enable a feature that allows the videos to be embedded on any number of other websites.

Here's the best part. You only pay ONCE for the videos. Remember, with a magazine ad, you have to keep paying for your ad to appear. Not with online video baby. Once you pay and the video is produced, it's up online FOREVER.

Look at the video to the right. See how many times it's been viewed? Over 350,000 times and counting! Go to YouTube right now to see the updated counter.

What's each impression worth from a branding standpoint? Would you say ten cents? I'd say that's fair. If we agree on ten cents, that means in the four years since this video was produced, Ridgid's received over $35,000 worth of exposure. What if I told you they could have had that video taped and loaded for $4,000? Yep, that's a pretty good return on investment.

Can you see why the print industry is suffering? Don't be too compassionate. They had their day in the sun. Actually they had decades and decades in the sun.

Time = More and More Branding

Time is an enemy of magazines and print in general, but it's a friend to online video. Unlike the full-page magazine ad where the number of views goes down over time, and by time I mean days, the number of impressions for an online video goes UP over time. And by video time, I mean forever, as the video will be online for as long as the servers are spinning.

There's no recycle bin for online video. It's like the Energizer Bunny - it just keeps going and going and going.

Video Views chart


Keep this in mind. Each day people are actively searching for the topics covered in the videos. What a cool concept! Search engines! Most people are unaware that the #2 search engine in the world is YouTube. Go figure!

And then there's the benefit of social media! Oh my gosh! People get to COMMENT on the video. You can't do that with a magazine ad.

The video can be spread far and wide across the Internet on multiple websites by using simple sharing/embedding HTML code. Woo Hoo!

Another great benefit of online video is that you can add notes right on the video after it's loaded. This means you can talk about changes to the product, new features, etc. This is accomplished by inserting annotations to the video.

You can add LINKS to the video description that take people to a place where they can buy the product.

Isn't it wonderful?

I think it's pretty clear, don't you. If you were a media buyer, you'd give a serious look at investing your money in a video, because its value goes UP over time, while a full-page ad in a magazine goes DOWN over time.

When will you be investing in online videos?

Soon, I hope. Go look at my media kit now to get started.


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