What Are the Different Types of Print Advertising?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
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  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2019
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Four basic types of print advertising exist: newspaper advertising, magazine ads, directory ads, and other, less common media. The effectiveness of each type of print advertising will vary according to several factors, including the type of business or product being advertised, the target audience, the cost of the advertising, and the duration of the advertising. As newspapers continue to decline in readership, the advertising for such media will tend to get cheaper; the downside, however, can be color limitations and the overall presentation of the ad. Newsprint tends to be dreary, which means the ad may not look its best.

Magazine print advertising offers many of the same advantages of newspaper print advertising, but with fewer disadvantages. Magazine readership is lower as well, which means advertising costs may have declined for some magazines. Unlike newspaper ads, magazine ads are often full color and bright, and they are often printed on glossy pages. Another advantage to magazine advertising is the business owner's ability to reach a target audience; newspaper ads tend to reach a much broader audience, and of that audience, most people may not be interested in the product or service being offered. Magazines tend to have a narrower focus, which means specific audiences can be reached by the business.


The most common type of directory print advertising is phone book advertising, and it is usually the least expensive option. One of the greatest advantages of print advertising in a phone book is the fact that people using such a publication are already actively engaged in a search for a specific service or product. Your ad will therefore be seen by the most appropriate target audience. The downside to such advertising, however, can be the convenience of the Internet. Many younger people searching for a business or service will avoid using a phone book and do an Internet search instead.

Other advertising options may be less obvious but just as expensive and even more cost effective. Newsletters, for example, may help a business reach a local audience, and high school yearbooks may appeal to students or parents. Printing banners that can be hung at a specific event can also be an effective form of print advertising, especially if that event pertains directly to the business's products or services. If a sports team is present in the city, a business can buy ads in programs, on promotional materials, or even within the stadium.


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Post 3

I would check with other people who are in the same kind of business before committing to any kind of advertising. I know a lot of people who did things like taking out advertising in print and making a whole bunch of bookmarks and giveaways to advertise their self published books and very few of them ever made back what they spent. Do your research before you shell out any kind of cash.

Post 2

@pleonasm - You really don't want to do that in an area where it's illegal though. And it's illegal in lots of places because it can be annoying and because those paper flyers often just get loose and end up being litter.

You're much better off trying to advertise in an approved way. Don't limit yourself to big, expensive magazines, you can get print ads in smaller zines and in other places, like for example, convention leaflets.

Or if you really want to make your own flyer or brochure, find out where you can put it, legally. Often when I'm going into cafes they have a pile of brochures at the entrance for people to read and I've seen them in hotel lobbies and other places like that as well.

Post 1

Flyers can be another cost efficient kind of print advertisement if you handle them properly. You've got to try and target them to the right place and deliver them at the right time.

If you're advertising a buffet, don't go and put them on cars in a supermarket, because people have probably just gone shopping for their dinner. Try putting them on cars that are parked in town, just before five, so you catch the crowd headed home from work.

They don't have to be fancy, they just have to offer a great and relevant product.

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