As I was scrolling through NewsFeeder’s list of the top Facebook posts from brands I happened upon this comment from Ted Royer, Executive Creative Director at Droga5:

 It’s great that Facebook can really bring back what was so nice about print, before people stopped caring about print.

That simple statement carries a lot of truth, and irony about the best way to utilize social media. In all the hype about “conversations” and “relationships”, many top brands have realized that in spite of the changes in media, what we actually “do” as advertisers hasn’t really changed at all.

- Attention: you still have to break through the clutter of news, entertainment, personal stories and other advertisements

- Information: you still have to get across a piece of information that will be appealing to your customers

- Delivery Method: the tried and true tools of the trade are still valuable: storytelling, wit, irony, hyperbole, metaphor, personification and the good old fashioned pun

- Reason to believe: we still have to leave our audiences with a reason to remember, and eventually choose our brand; these can range from a feeling that “this brand gets me” to a rational product benefit

Even brands that have been sneaking ads into Instagram (via Adage) look very similar to that out-of-style medium called print.

And with the growth of visual social sites like Pinterest, Tumblr, Pheed and Facebook’s new Newsfeed visual messaging is going to be more important than ever. So, ladies and gentlemen, meet the future of social media…the “print ad”.

For all you young kids, if you want to learn about this thing called “print”, look into an agency called DDB, they did it pretty well back in the 60’s:

DDB VW Print Ads

*Now, we’re all aware that the medium does affect the impact of the message, so this new “print” orientation of social media is not a direct translation of the print advertising of the 60’s. I’m working on an idea I’m calling “Print+” or “Traditional+” that I will tackle in a later post.