How print ads work.
Gaining cut-through in a mass media environment is difficult.
This is the age of “simultaneous media consumption” where TV viewers can flick through Facebook when the ads come on.
Convincing consumers to take action after viewing an advertisement has never been harder.
A key benefit of newspapers is that readers are engaged – it requires a level of concentration not needed for other media.
Advertisers want to ensure bang for their advertising buck, and they want to know their ads are encouraging action.
The Newspaper Works relaunched its ADvance creative benchmarking service to help advertisers and creative agencies see the strategic roles newspaper ads play in influencing readers.
The ADvance Creative Benchmarking program, developed in conjunction with leading independent research company Ipsos MediaCT, tests print creative across a range of measures.
These include recognised brand tracking and proprietary measures designed to cater to the unique characteristics of newspaper advertising.
The ActionMap is an output of ADvance that allows us to identify the actions that newspaper ads inspire.
Readers are asked about the actions they would consider taking (or have taken) as a result of seeing the ad. Researchers then plot responses and chart the likely course of action.
The following examples of print ads tested this year illustrate how strong print ads can drive a number of ‘calls to action’ – from web-search to store visits and buy/try.
Coles and Woolworths are two of the biggest display advertisers in newspapers and masters of producing attractive creative that drives readers into action. Both produced similar ad executions promoting discounted fruit and vegetables.
Both ads performed well in driving a form of call to action. However, the type of action taken differed slightly with each ad.
Coles’ uncluttered approach was visually appealing and presented their fruit and veg offer in a clear way. It performed strongly in terms of driving store visits. However, the $2 offer was not as compelling as Woolworths’ offer and so it did not encourage the same level of ‘buy or try’.
Print newspapers are second to online as the most useful media to influence holiday decisions. Scenic Tours and Avalon Waterways recently looked to print newspapers to advertise their European river cruise packages, with each brand using similar but distinctive app roaches
Though these two executions are similar in style, they actually drive different actions. The Avalon Waterways’ creative has the edge in terms of encouraging readers to visit a travel agent or search for more information online. One in four respondents (23%) said they would carry out one of these actions.
The Scenic Tours’ ad performed better in terms of talkability, driven by the attractive “Fly Free to France” offer. One in five said they would mention the ad to others.
Interest in immediate purchase was low, which was not surprising considering the high-end nature of the product. However, longterm interest was high, with both ads encouraging readers to tear out or remember the ad.
The ADvance research program proves that well designed print advertising works. Depending on the strategic goal of the ad campaign, newspaper advertising can drive a number of desirable actions from readers, no matter what the category”
Energy Boost to Brand
Two recent campaign launches have demonstrated how a combination of newspapers and TV can amplify a message and persuade consumers to reconsider a brand.
Origin Energy launched earlier this year a new advertising campaign, taking a new strategic and creative approach. Its goal was to convince consumers to think about energy as an essential part of their lives.
Etihad’s campaign was its first global brand campaign in three years. This ad ran just prior to the launch of the new television campaign. That this ad ran without the benefit of television indirectly provides a useful demonstration of why running ads across media is important.
International air travel and electricity are radically different categories, so a direct comparison could be misleading. Both ads performed strongly in terms of driving memorability, wordof-mouth, and prompting online search. The Origin ad was more effective in motivating readers to actively seek out the brand.
The ADvance research program proves that well designed print advertising works. Depending on the strategic goal of the ad campaign, newspaper advertising can drive a number of desirable actions from readers, no matter what the category.
Subtle differences in similar Coles and Woolworths creatives encouraged different actions
Tour operators use attractive visuals to drive readers into action
Clever creative stands out from the crowd, peaks readers interests and gets people talking