The Benchmark Series, the largest cross-media advertising effectiveness study ever conducted in Australia, has found that national and metro news is a highly effective advertising channel based on its unique ability to encode brand memories.
Advertising placed in national and metro news, in print and digital, deliver superior brand recall and purchase propensity.
The Benchmark Series was overseen by Dr Duane Varan, CEO of audience research lab MediaScience. It included more than 5,350 participants and ran across 42 print runs and 252 websites, together creating 6,037 unique brand exposures.
The study set out to understand the impact news platforms have along the path to purchase by measuring key metrics across short and long-term memory, as well as brand lift.
Dr Varan said, “this is a landmark study, both for Australia and globally. The sheer scale and scope of the cross-platform comparison is unprecedented.”
“The overarching finding of the research is that national and metro news, in print and digital form, are extremely effective at embedding brands in people’s memories. The reason for this is that when people consume news content, they enter an active and alert state of mind and this carries over to the advertising in the channel.”
Findings of the study included that advertising in printed national and metro newspapers yielded eight point five times great unprompted recall than the run of the internet**.
Print specifically is highly effective at embedding brands in consumer memories with unpromoted recall at 34 per cent compared to four per cent for run of the internet.
Ads in digital news environments delivered superior memory and recall, as digital news channels delivered a strong uptick in brand recall. Unprompted recall was 26 per cent for digital national and metro news, versus eleven per cent for run of the internet.
Print and digital news combinations generated three point five times greater brand lift, compared to run of the internet. Cross-platform, these benefits are amplified.
The study found that the combination of print and digital news widens the gap on effectiveness versus other publications. The combination drives unpromoted recall of 32 per cent versus just five per cent for run of the internet.
Advertising in Total News* channels was two-point two times better remembered than run of the internet. It delivered unprompted recall of 22 er cent, compare to ten per cent for run of the internet. It also yielded superior sales impact with one point eight times brand lift.
Benefits were even more pronounced among light category consumers, where news advertising widened the effectiveness gap with unprompted recall 19 per cent compared to seven per cent for run of the internet.
Ads in Total News delivered stronger brand choice lift and a high propensity to purchase. As measured via discreet choice modelling, brand choice for Total News was 14 per cent compared to just nine per cent for run of the internet. Again, this gap widens for light buyers with brand lift increasing from four per cent for run of the internet to 11 per cent for Total News.
ThinkNewsBrands General Manager Vanessa Lyons said, “the findings are clear: as an advertising channel, news has the power to increase the propensity to purchase due to the halo created by the engaging, trusted and professionally produced content.”
“This research, combined with the impressive daily reach of news, its vast and growing audience, and clear cross-platform performance, make a compelling case for marketers to reappraise their perceptions of news.”
** Run of the internet refers to non-premium sites including but not limited to TechRadar, The Daily Mail, Yahoo, Mamamia and Buzzfeed.
**Total News refers to the print and digital news assets of ThinkNewsBrands stakeholders News Corp, Nine and Seven West Media. This includes but is not limited to The Age, The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Daily Telegraph, The West Australian, 7news.com.au, nine.com.au and news.com.au.
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