Print bounces back (again)

Casper gets rid of its digital offering in favour of a new, luxury print mag

Interesting news from the world of mattresses. Casper, that well-established custodian of cosiness, is launching a new magazine called Woolly.

The magazine will take over from where Van Winkle, Casper’s online publication that launched in 2015, left off.  Marketing officers hope the magazine, which will be bundled in with products and available to buy for $12 in Casper’s US shops, will take up residence on the nation’s nightstands to improve consumer experience of their products – and establish Casper as the sultans of snoozing.

As for the content itself, it’s far from a corporate puff piece. Casper has taken the sensible option of putting time and effort into creating something that is both stylish and engaging. Short essays on wellness live alongside odes to board games, running playlists and recipe tips.

It’s not just the bedding industry that has been taken in by print’s charms. Airbnbmag, Airbnb’s way of enticing potential consumers to far-flung destinations, has been going strong since May.

The phenomenon of firms embracing print and shunning digital is clearly one that is finding allies across the marketing world. But why?

Print: a spring in its step

We’ve spoken about the unique benefits of print before here on Content Desk. Consumption may be wavering but among devotees the format remains engaging, relevant and a hallmark of high quality.

Record circulation figures from publications such as the New Statesman, The Spectator and Private Eye have been well reported. Additionally, recent research shows that print remains on top for consumers across age ranges for readability and trustworthiness.

Strong and stable

Print is emerging as a bastion of stability in an increasingly uncertain digital landscape. And it’s not just fake news and domain spoofing that publishers have to worry about. GDPR is creating new demands for transparency around data sharing which threatens to catch many content creators unawares. Print is no nostalgic throwback – it’s a welcome content refuge.

To be clear, digital content is dominant and, despite its shortcomings, will remain so. The recent shutting down of Gothamist shows how vulnerable print can be, and the ease with which strong content offerings can be swept away under the guise of modernisation.

But it’s clear that B2C publishers are cottoning on to the benefits of print – benefits that are even more acute from a B2B perspective. Print retains the ability to capture reader attention and feels dependable in a transient digital world. For small, niche audiences, these traits are particularly valuable.

Why let the mattress barons have all the fun with magazines? They may be just the trick for your content strategy, but you’ll only find out by taking the plunge.

The future of print may be uncertain, but Casper’s latest venture shows it hasn’t been put to bed just yet.

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