Submitted by: Jess Taylor 12/12/2016
Discover why newspaper advertising remains one of the most engaging and effective advertising platforms for brands across Europe, and what Bild Zeitung, The Sun and Tele Star are doing to make sure it stays that way. To read the full article, please see below.
Loyalty and trust
With the global newspaper industry generating an estimated US$ 179 billion in circulation and advertising revenue (more than the book publishing, music or film industries)1, it's clear that newspapers are a hugely valuable multiplatform business. So why do brands keep coming back to the print newspaper as a suitable home for their advertising? It may have something to do with reader loyalty.
“In most countries in Northern and Central Europe you have a high level of subscription rates,” says Manfred Werfel, deputy CEO of WAN-IFRA, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. “So you have a very loyal audience.”
That point about loyalty is crucial. In contrast to internet websites or social media, newspaper readers have very strong brand attachments and trust what they read in their favourite daily.
Many brands, especially from the fashion world, keep on advertising in newspapers as they know that opinions are formed from reading print,” says Mario Calabresi, director of Italian newspaper la Repubblica. “The experience of a full-page advert is difficult to reproduce in a digital environment.”
Such consumer loyalty far stronger than the relationship with, say, a television channel or website – creates an environment for advertisers in which the customer is already positively disposed towards what they’re reading. Furthermore, engagement among newspaper readers has been shown to be higher and encourages greater focus, as Olins points out.
“When someone buys a newspaper, they typically spend over an hour reading it, so you also have the quality of time that people spend,” he says. “When you’re reading a newspaper article it requires you to pay proper attention. That’s one reason why people like Sir Martin Sorrell are saying that newspapers offer better value to advertisers than was previously assumed, purely because of that level of engagement.”
Meanwhile, the format in which advertising is presented can make a big difference to how it is perceived.
“Aside from the fact that you can’t block printed ads the way you can in digital, printed advertising is not blocking you from reading,” says Manfred Werfel.
The personal solution
Europe’s two biggest-selling newspapers have already rolled out groundbreaking hybrid printing technology to address this. Germany’s Bild Zeitung (circulation 2.5m)
and UK tabloid The Sun (1.8m) invested heavily in new Kodak technology that not only incentivises readership of their print editions and links them to their paid-for
digital equivalents, but also personalises print copies of the paper to facilitate targeted content and advertising.
Combination is the key
All this suggests that this combination of print advertising with its digital equivalent is a highly effective way of getting marketing messages across.
“Newspapers supercharge other media,” says Rufus Olins. “With John Lewis, for instance, they see their newspaper ads as supporting the television advertising
because the television ads attract a lot of attention, but it’s the two in tandem that work well together.
“Our most recent research powerfully indicates that the different platforms amplify each other. There’s a multiplier effect rather than just addition. You get more opportunities to see it on different platforms and the results improve.”
Meanwhile, Manfred Werfel points to innovations such as Porter magazine’s scanning system that links print advertising with online shopping.
“This is a very effective way of advertising,” says Manfred Werfel, “combining full colour, high quality print ads that really show you all the details of the advertised products. And on the other side you can interact immediately and buy the things. So that’s one area to look to in the future – the newspaper becoming a shopping portal in itself.”
But Werfel has no doubt about the abiding message for advertisers going forward. “No brand should rely on one media channel only,” he says. “All the successful ones work within a media mix.”
And at the core of that mix, print remains the key ingredient.