Analysis of 100 ad studies: print amplifies effectiveness

Submitted by: Ulbe Jelluma 02/11/2015

Adding print media to the media mix increases the overall effectiveness of the campaign. An analysis of 100 advertising effectiveness studies in the USA demonstrates the synergy effects of multi-media campaigns. On the basis of responses of 250.000 people Millward Brown concludes with strong arguments to include print media in the mix.

Knowledge about the functioning and effectiveness of print advertising keeps increasing. Recently the US Association of Magazine Publishers (MPA) conducted a similar study as what Print Power in co-operation with BrandScience did three years ago. It commissioned Millward Brown to analyse 100 advertising effectiveness studies in the US, all of them originally conducted by Millward Brown.

The first conclusion is that advertising works. Regardless of the media channel, any combination of channels results in increased effectiveness. Which very much confirms the findings BrandScience made in its similar meta analysis three years ago. This also implies that multi-media campaigns or, cross-channel campaigns or integrated campaigns should be the intention of brand owners.

Millward Brown’s meta analysis looks at the 4 phases in advertising effects: brand awareness/familarity, message association, brand favourability and purchase intent. The 100 advertising effectiveness campaigns represent four different categories: Automotive, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Entertainment and Financial Services and represents more than 250.000 respondents. The results are defined by six key measures: awareness (aided and non-aided), comprehension (recall, correct association of baseline and brand) and brand favourability and purchase intent.

The conclusions as mentioned by MPA are very convincing for the use of newspaper and magazine advertising in the media mix:

Print advertising led to the greatest increases in the metrics closest to purchasing behavior: brand favorability and purchase intent. Print ad exposures generated lifts that were 7% points higher than those for Online and 3% points higher than those for TV.

1. When advertisers used Print in combination with other platforms, they were most successful in raising outcome metrics. In most cases, a Print + Online + TV combination had more-powerful effects than lesser combinations. Among the two-medium combinations, the Print + TV combination was especially effective across the six outcome metrics. Indeed, for some outcome metrics, this combination produced deltas that were twice as large as those for the TV + Online combination. Campaigns combining Print + Online also achieved significant lifts in ad effectiveness, beyond what a single platform would achieve.

2. Adding Print to a TV schedule actually helped consumers recall the TV ads they had seen. Exposure to both TV and Print in ad campaigns improved consumers’ ability to correctly associate the advertised brands with their respective advertising messages.

3. Optimum ad exposure levels vary by channel. While TV and Online show diminishing returns after four exposures, Print continues to improve ad awareness and persuasion metrics at higher (five-plus) frequencies

  • This suggests that TV and Online channels may be more cost-effective at lower levels of exposure, while advertisers are likely to benefit from higher print frequencies.
  • Ad awareness was higher for Print at all exposure frequencies
  • Message association, brand favorability and purchase intent all continued to show increased growth at the five-plus exposure frequencies for Print.

4. Print advertising was equally effective among males and females. 

This analysis of advertising effectiveness studies in the USA strongly confirms the earlier findings in Europe of 500 advertising cases. Both studies underline the ongoing importance of newspaper and magazine advertising as part of the media mix. Regardless of the category or type of advertiser.

Click here for the full presentation of the results.