Topics & themes

Research on advertising’s larger topics and themes from audience attention to measuring effectiveness.

Sector report: Finance

From mortgages to pension plans, ISAs and phone insurance, there seems to be a never-ending list of financial products and services available to us. With two thirds of the population (TGI Clickstream Mobile 2017 Q2) admitting that they are more aware of personal finance than they used to be - whether you're a student scraping together change for your next night out, a first-time home buyer or a retired pensioner - financial advertising is a crucial source of information.

Newspapers continue to be an extremely strong advertising medium for financial service brands. We know from Benchmarketing's analysis of econometrics models that adding print newsbrands to the media mix in the finance category improves overall campaign revenue return on investment (RROI) by a factor of 5.7. 

Analysis of the RAMetrics data shows that, creatively, financial services print ads are not involving readers as strongly as they could. They are less impactful and score significantly below the all ad average for recall (50% vs 70%). Subsequently, the story is the same across all brand and action measures among the total newspaper readership.

Given that not everyone is in the market for financial products at all times, we thought we would look at how financial services print ads performed among the people who did pay them attention. Despite being well-branded, it turns out people don't find them very likeable or informative - on average they provoke lower than average emotional reaction and didn't really convey a personal benefit to people.

Looking at gender segmentation, female readers are a little less likely to notice print ads for financial advertising (ad recall: 49% vs 52% for men). This is not surprising as they are less familiar with the advertised brands beforehand (familiarity: 25% vs 30% for men). When it comes to engagement, there are no real significant differences between women's and men's responses. When it comes to action, women are actually more likely to recommend a brand.

Next, we looked at two age groups, millennials (18-34-year olds) and adults aged 35+. Interestingly, millennials score significantly higher than the over 35s across every brand measure. Not only are they more likely to be paying attention to financial services ads (ad recall: 63% vs 50% for 35+), they are more likely to recognise the brands, they are more likely to be engaged and they are more likely to take action.

We also looked at how the financial services print ads stack up against the averages for print ads across all categories, specifically for millennials. As with the total readership, finance ads have a lower impact (ad recall: 63% vs. 83% for all categories) and similarly score lower across all brand measures. However, for 18-34s, they are equally as strong as the other categories when it comes to delivering on action.

We know that over the last few years, print advertising has increased in effectiveness, yet print advertising for financial services is not delivering this increased effectiveness to the same degree as other sectors. Scores are higher than a decade ago, but they are falling farther behind the best print ads.

Looking at digital advertising, we discovered that financial services digital ads are more noticeable than other categories (ad recall: 31% vs 26% for all ads). For financial services digital ads, their strength lies in soft metrics like branding and familiarity but they are less adept at driving hard metrics which are more action orientated.

View more RAMetrics insight

Download .PPTX (.27mb)Sector report: Finance

Get in touch

120 Charing Cross Road

020 7839 8935


Keep up to date

Please take a minute to answer a few questions on our new website. The feedback you provide will help us make the website easier for you to navigate and ensure you can find the content you’re after. In addition, we’ll enter you in to a prize draw for a £100 Amazon voucher*.

Take Survey Not now Never