Submitted by: The Two Sides Team November 13, 2019
The ability of print to stimulate a number of key senses gives brands and advertisers a powerful way to engage their customers and cut through the marketing noise.
In 2015, American neuroscientist and author Dr David Eagleman did a ground-breaking experiment. In it, he took a number of people and asked them to read three versions of a company brochure. The first version was printed on high quality coated paper, the second on lower-grade uncoated paper, while the third was online.
The study found that those who read on high quality paper understood and remembered the content better than those who read on lower grade paper or online and were most likely to recommend the company to friends. A week later, people still preferred the company they read about on the high-quality paper, with name recall highest by a factor of 3:1.
“To touch a thing is to trigger a reaction: as soon as we do, we begin to feel differently about it,” explains Dr Eagleman in Sappi’s fascinating report A Communicator’s Guide to the Neuroscience of Touch. “We begin to feel we own it, and research shows that makes us value it more.”
Senses working overtime
It’s not just Dr Eagleman’s study that demonstrates the power of paper to engage the brain and increase the value of a product.
Since the 1990s, over 100 studies published by neuroscientists, psychologists and other researchers have explored how people interact with paper. What they found was that people read best on paper for three reasons: it makes content easier to navigate, it facilitates better mental ‘mapping’ of information, and it drains fewer cognitive resources, improving the retention of information. This is all because paper is a physical, tangible medium that engages our sense of touch.
“We live in a world where we are continuously bombarded by messages. Print cuts through that noise and interacts with the brain in a very different way”
The sense of touch is something we all take for granted, but it’s a hugely powerful bonding agent that’s used in a vast range of silent social communication. Studies show that people who are lightly touched by a waiter in a restaurant leave bigger tips, while sports teams who interact physically during matches consistently win more games.
“Adding touch to a campaign can increase its value by 24%,” says Marine Kerivel-Brown, Marketing Director of Duplo. “We live in a world where we are continuously bombarded by online, video and audio messages. Print has the tactile power to cut through that noise to interact with the brain in a very different way.”
While the physical texture of paper delivers impressive levels of interaction and engagement with the human brain, using print innovations strengthens the bond, adding a powerful factor of individuality and uniqueness.
Those effects range from relatively simple embossing and debossing to complex material simulations such as the feel of luxury leather, wood or even car tyre tracks. “There are some key applications where you can translate the physical qualities of the end product to the printed page,” explains Marine Kerivel-Brown.
“So the connection you establish with your targeted customer runs much deeper than just sending them a pretty picture.” Of course, touch isn’t the only sense that can be engaged by print. A number of successful print campaigns have used the power of smell and even taste to increase awareness of their brands and keep them in the memory for longer.
Brands have long been adding scented inks to their ads, with Liberty Mutual using a new car smell for their recent print ads to promote car insurance, while FIAT, JetBlue, Volkswagen and Fanta have all created edible ads made from potato or rice starch.
“Print is always evolving, and customers are becoming more and more demanding and sophisticated,” says Marine. “If print is to continue to thrive, it has to go beyond just colour and really create an experience for the end recipient.”
— For more information about Duplo’s work in the area of sensory print, go to www.duplointernational.com
Article from The Page. Written by Sam Upton