8.25 seconds. That’s the length of the average human attention span. Goldie can go for 9.
With that in mind, Condé Nast hired a research firm to investigate how people interact with magazines, particularly how their responses to TV and magazine ads differed. Which medium was better at keeping their attention?
The study revealed that because paper is “lighter in its assertion of control,” it draws readers in. Because they were in charge of their own interaction, they engaged with the print content—all its content, not just the ads—more fully.
The New York Times discovered something similar when it explored the revival of printed catalogs in 2015. Retailers that had shifted to online catalogs found sales plummeting, as people missed the haptic qualities of the catalogs they were used to.
Now, mailings of paper catalogs have rebounded and the form has changed dramatically as companies find exciting new ways to make this old-school approach relevant to today’s shopper. It’s working.