Advantage Signs and Graphics MN
How a banner or flag can be a better alternative to digital ads in many situations

Physical vs Digital Advertising

As technology progresses, and we advance further and further into the Information Age (we left the Industrial Age about 30 years ago), we get to witness the transition of an age of humanity.  Now information, and more recently, **data**, that powers decisions businesses make.

Physical Advertising still has its place in the digital world we live in, where pay per click and Google Adsense own the advertising market. For one, physical advertising leaves a longer lasting impression on viewers than a simple digital ad. Physical advertisements are actually more effective with specific audiences due to their tactile nature. Physical advertisements can have physical sensations associated with them like touch, smell, and taste (ever heard of a scratch n sniff?)

Effective physical advertisement formats


Banners are one of the most effective outdoor advertising systems, due to their potential size and amazing flexibility of use. Banners can range from small flags to gigantic billboard sized banners that can be seen for miles. Banners can also be used as flags, using the weather as an attention grabber, flowing in the wind. Banners can be any shape, and graphics as well as photographs can be printed on banner. Different types of materials include vinyl, cloth, and mesh.


Custom vinyl decals are a great way to spread awareness of your business or organization without breaking the bank. Decals have even more applications than banners. There are too many to discuss them all in one blog post. Just know that the options are, quite literally, as endless as your imagination. Commercial printers and vinyl cutting machines mean 90% of graphics can be printed onto vinyl and made into a decal. Learn more about custom vinyl decals at

Vehicle Graphics

Your company vehicle (or your own) is a mobile billboard waiting to happen. Vehicle graphics are a professional way of spreading the word about your business. A business card on 4 wheels makes your brand travel. Learn more about vehicle graphics at

Yard Signs

Corrugated plastic signs are great for long term and short term use. They are great for advertising your political campaign or your business. Learn more about these signs at

Physical marketing materials are still relevant in today's tech focused world

In 2019, when it seems as though flyers, brochures, and business cards seem like a thing of the past, using them can actually be a unique way of sticking in your customers memory. Having something they can carry with them is super important in brand renown and recognition.

Physical Advertising Materials are tactile and physical

Having a physical product is a huge benefit over digital advertising. Flyers, business cards, and brochures quite literally STAY with your customer (unless they are tossed in the trash).  Even when thrown into the trash, there is still a chance someone will see the advertisement and be moved by it. A digital ad is viewed for only a few seconds unless it is clicked, and even then the final destination is still just another website (usually).

Physical Advertising Materials are easier to budget

If you've ever run ads with Facebook or Google PPC, you know how easy they can eat up your entire advertising budget for the month in the first two weeks. Setting up a campaign can be time-consuming, frustrating, and costly if done incorrectly. There is a lot of margin for error, and **campaign errors result in lost or wasted money, time, and energy** The nice thing about physical products like banners and signs is that they aren’t wasted money. They are a one time investment that keeps working for you as long as it can.

Physical Marketing Materials are easier to understand and process by consumers

According to Forbes blog, direct mail requires 21% less cognitive energy to process, which is great for getting people to pull the trigger on a purchase.  They found that  75% of people remembered a brand if exposed to a piece of mail or a flyer. The digital ad in the same study only had a rate of 44% retention. If someone has to decipher your ad, they are going to be less likely to remember you. In the marketing world, this is referred to as the "motivation-cognitive load ratio".

Physical Marketing Materials are easier to understand and process by consumers

Paper, fabric, and vinyl are physical materials that feel more "real" to the brain. Physical ads have a meaning, a place, and other senses associated with them. This is important for associating the brand with spatial memories.
Physical materials involve more emotional processing power, which makes people associate those brands with specific emotional neural networks.
When people's brains are monitored, they show more activity in the brain where internal feelings are processed, leading researchers to believe the physical advertising materials have more "internalization" potential.
Yard sign advertisement

A final note about physical and digital advertising

While we spent a lot of time in this post talking bad about digital advertising, we don't want readers to walk away with plans of canceling their Google, Facebook, and Adroll ad campaigns. Digital advertising still has its place in the market. The benefits of digital advertising are instantaneous access, localization, re-targeting, audio / video, and more.

It's important to focus on both sides of the advertising coin, and make sure you have a robust system involving both mediums.
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