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Do Print Media Campaigns Still Matter?

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Creative Director Emma Hill says Mulberry's fall campaign, shot by Tim Walker,  "plays on the romance and darkness of children's fairytales, with mysterious creatures and the idea of travel, fantasy and beauty."
Creative Director Emma Hill says Mulberry's fall campaign, shot by Tim Walker, "plays on the romance and darkness of children's fairytales, with mysterious creatures and the idea of travel, fantasy and beauty."

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If you haven't noticed, fashion brands have been freaking out over investing heavily in digital and social media recently: video campaigns, Instagram contests, Pinterest anything. So much so that the Financial Times recently ran what should have been a really interesting piece on whether old media print ads even matter anymore.

Unfortunately, the article never quite answers the question it poses. The only two sources cited churned out passionless quotes about balancing digital and traditional media that sound like pre-packaged PR speak: "You don't need to compare classic ad campaigns with social media but instead discover how they can work effectively together to create the best brand message," said Mulberry Creative Director Emma Hill.

Of his fall collection, shot by Mario Testino, Michael Kors told FT, that it "fuses together two of my most cherished themes: jetset style and Hollywood glamour."

Michael Kors, who usually has no problem being opinionated and entertaining, was equally banal: "Methods of print advertising are still very important today, but we also share our ad images in outdoor settings, as well as on digital, mobile and social media platforms," he told the publication.

Nevertheless, the question about the relevance of print ads is a really interesting one. And the season's campaigns—especially Mulberry's fantastical fall ads, starring Lindsey Wixson and a giant furry monster, and Kors' Old Hollywood-inspired images—are reminders that a single image speaks a thousand words as far as branding and lifestyle go.

Back in the day, those images would be torn out of magazines and posted on mood boards or plastered on dorm room walls. Nowadays, those same campaign images can live out their entire lives on a screen. The people who might have tacked an ad to a bulletin board five years ago are now re-pinning it on Pinterest or sharing on Facebook.

So we're curious: What do you find most engaging these days? Print magazine ads? Or other ways of interacting with a brand: viral videos, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and the like? Speak your mind in the comments, and head here for a refresher on the season's campaigns.

· Power to the Picture [FT]
· September Issue Ad Redux: The Top 10 Campaign Moments So Far [Racked]
· Fall 2012 Campaign Trail [Racked/Pinterest]