Tapping into readers' attention via newspapers

Newsworks' Communications Manager Jessie Sampson takes a look at how advertisers can capitalise on readers' engagement with print to command attention via clever copy, original ideas and bold creative. 

In a world of so many distractions, newspapers command high levels of attention. 60% of readers do not consume any other media at the same time as reading a newspaper, according to Newsworks' research with PwC. Whether you're settling down with the Saturday spread or catching up on the commute, it's likely you’re going to be focused on what's in front of you - let's face it, it's pretty hard to multi-task while reading. As a result, print is the perfect place for advertisers to capitalise on people's attention with eye-catching, interesting ads. Check out some examples from the past couple of weeks:

Some of the best print ads depict beautiful designs and amazing imagery, but some feature nothing more than words and are equally effective. At the start of January, Refuge ran a long-copy ad in newspapers which bought home the terror of domestic violence. Read normally and the tale is a standard account of New Year's Eve, but read it backwards and it tells a different story.

British Airways
At first glance, BA's ad is fairly unassuming. The size and simplicity defy the usual characteristics of attention-grabbing creative, yet there is something about the ticket – almost tactile, sitting on the page – which draws the eye. It's then that you realise that each ticket carries the name of a famous Brit, in celebration of the airline's centenary. It's the sort of detail that works so brilliantly as a newspaper ad, when people are fully engaged in the content in front of them.

Tu Clothing
The supermarket clothing range championed boob diversity with a simple but effective DPS in The Sun. The bold graphics can't fail but grab attention and create curiosity, drawing readers in to find out more about the cause – 'every woman deserves a bra that makes her feel amazing'.

Mary Poppins
For the launch of the West End stage show of Mary Poppins, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh ran a standout cover wrap on The Evening Standard, in the form of a replica front page. Headlined 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious original is back on stage' the long-copy wrap taps into the 'read all about it' heritage of print newspapers – a fitting tribute to the storyline's era.

With Brexit dominating headlines, HSBC's 'We are not an island' creative is a timely reminder of the UK's diversity and the influence of other countries on our day-to-day lives. While the ad sparked controversy over perceived anti-Brexit sentiment, the debate doesn't detract from the power of the ad. The fact that advertising continues to fuel discussion is surely no bad thing.

Good ads engage and intrigue; prompting people to pause, take the message in and find out more. That's no small feat considering how much content we are all exposed to on a daily basis. The above examples show how advertisers can capitalise on readers' engagement with print to command attention via clever copy, original ideas and bold creative.

This blog was first published by INMA

by Jessie Sampson 07/02/19

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