Is Print Advertising Under Attack?


Just a brief thought for tonight.

These days, electronic advertising is becoming more prolific. Certainly, it saves on paper, plastic and printing and improves the flexibility and efficiency of rolling out new ads but electrical usage goes up. It makes me wonder how much electricity is being used to power units that may not necessarily be viewed in the wee hours of the morning. Furthermore, some electronic advertising is really harsh to the eye (as I guess people are getting used to this new medium just like people need to get a grip on how they use Microsoft Office PowerPoint).

Certainly, emerging technologies such as “E Ink” could become a viable option for billboards. The traditional paper based billboards do take some time to update manually whilst an E Ink display might take a couple of minutes to fully refresh itself (given its size). The benefit of E Ink is that no power is required to display an image once it has been set. However, the drawbacks are that you still require a power source when you want to update the image and also to illuminate it when the ambient light is too dark (as E Ink is not backlit like LCD screens). Furthermore, colour E Ink displays are still fairly scarce and may be cost prohibitive at this stage.

The best compromise may be E Ink displays coupled with mounted LED illumination to keep down power usage. At any rate, I sometimes wonder if print advertising will die along with traditional books, newspapers and magazines.

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