Case study: Heralding changes in advertising
New Zealand’s largest newspaper is innovating for both readers and advertisers.
Change is the only constant, as they say, and The New Zealand Herald has continually adapted to meet the market and the times. In addition to all the innovations in the digital space, the print edition has introduced Viva, Canvas, TimeOut, The Red Bulletin, Weekend and The Business Herald to target specific reader needs and offer advertisers a range of options.
The Herald is now also leading the way in assisting advertisers to navigate the fragmenting media marketplace and together with Nielsen, has created media measurement tools that go beyond the usual readership and circulation figures of newspapers.
New advertising measurement tool
We know that advertising agencies require measurable, qualitative data to understand the complex layers of media connections and the key dimensions of engagement. A qualitative measurement would add to the strategic planning process when deciding on the best media combination to reach specific campaign objectives. Our two studies, Media Engagement and Advertising Engagement, aim to answer the following questions:
• What combination of media should we use for our campaign?
• How can we best use newspaper advertisements?
The comprehensive studies investigate how media engage audiences—and hence how advertisers can best use each environment. We looked at a range of media from television, outdoor, online and commercial radio to The New Zealand Herald newspaper and its different sections, as well as nzherald.co.nz. Each was rated in terms of how it engaged the reader by educating, entertaining, absorbing, inspiring, altering thoughts and feelings or if it’s easy to do other things at the same time:
• Daily newspapers engage by educating and absorbing
• Sunday newspapers engage by educating and absorbing
• Television engages through entertaining
• Outdoor accompanies people
• Online engages through inspiring and absorbing
• Radio entertains and accompanies
• Magazines engage by inspiring, entertaining and as a pastime
• Community newspapers engage as a pastime and by educating
The research proved that newspapers engage by educating through providing credible, accurate and trustworthy information; and newspaper advertisements generated a similar response.
More interesting though, was the finding that newspapers also engage by changing opinions, driving strategic brand connections and are considered effective at generating a call to action.
From an advertising perspective, newspapers’ different sections, topics and styles of content mean specific reader mindsets can be targeted. The timing, clearly defined sections and evocative editorial content of newspapers can also be used to great effect as these examples illustrate:
• Tui’s Valentine’s Day advertisement
• Prime’s True Blood advertisement
• Air New Zealand’s ‘Dear Listener’advertisement
• Mini advertisement in Herald on Sunday’s View magazine
Benchmarking the best
To understand how consumers actually engage with advertisements in newspapers and therefore how advertisers could best use newspaper advertising, our Advertising Engagement study measures and benchmarks advertisements within a category.
To date, we have measured five categories: travel, in-home, out-of-home, finance and household electrical. Our findings improve the understanding of how newspaper advertising works; the role of advertising and the use of newspapers as an advertising environment. We found that the following key factors create an effective newspaper advertisement:
• Size does really matter – larger advertisements drive impact and showcase more product, which generates a stronger call to action
• Finding the best placement for an advertisement is key to its effectiveness – different sections evoke a different reader engagement. We have found that newspaper inserted magazines such as Viva engage on an emotive level—an effective engagement dimension for brand-building advertisements.
• The creative direction of the advertisement should also determine the placement i.e. is it a brand-building or product promotion advertisement?
And of course, consistent campaigns work better than one-offs.
If you would like more information on our Media Engagement or Advertising Engagement studies, please go to www.soldonapn.co.nz