Magazine vs Newspaper: Which is Better?

Magazine and newspaper ads differ greatly. You cannot take a magazine ad and run it in a newspaper and vice versa. But, aside from the creative, what makes the two so different? From an advertiser’s standpoint, it all depends on how you are looking to reach your audience. Let’s break it down into more chewable bits.

REACH: Newspapers are great for reaching a huge, general market. This is demonstrated by the numerous ads you see from big retail giants like Target and Wal-Mart that often use FSIs (free standing inserts). Magazines, on the other hand, have a more narrow focus. In other words, they are very specific to their audiences.

AFFORDABILITY: If you are going for cheap, newspapers are your best bet. But as any good advertiser knows, sometimes you have to make compromises in the pricing department. If your campaigns hinges on reaching a particular market and demographic and you want a cheap price tag, you may have to choose one over the other. Getting a great rate, however, with magazines shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed. There are ways around the given rate card rate that may intimidate some greener advertisers.

TIME: If you are looking to have an immediate response to your ads, you would be out of luck with magazines, in general. Their lead times and sales curves are much longer than compared to newspapers. Newspapers also have a quick turnaround for ad placement, often within a week or even a day. Magazines, however, often require placement to be made a month or few ahead of time due to creative and printing purposes.

DESIGN: An obvious appeal about magazines is that they catch our eye with their glossy, colorful images. Newspapers, on the other hand, are dull. In terms of branding purposes and image creation, magazines are by far a better choice in that they will better convey these messages. In addition to the basic design, another downfall to keep in mind concerning newspapers is that your ad may get lost in the clutter. Unless it is the marketplace section, magazines do not have such clutter pitfalls.


Is one medium better than the other? In truth, it entirely depends on the objective of your campaign and how you would like to implement it. Both mediums are effective means of advertising. Media buying agencies like Integral are here to help you navigate the print advertising world to ensure your best ad campaign possible.