Speaking at an INMA seminar, Newsworks director of research and insight corrected common assumptions about print advertising in 2022
During her presentation, Turner pointed to five key areas that might cause misconceptions about print among planners: scale, time, attention, its role in campaigns and effectiveness.
Explaining this, she said: “I want to use this presentation to debunk some of those myths and put some of the data out there…that shows that actually print is still really relevant and will continue to be relevant going forward.”
First of all, print’s scale. With 10 million daily and 22 million monthly adult readers, Turner compared this reach with popular TV programmes such I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and Call the Midwife, each reaching 11 million and 7.5 million viewers respectively in the UK.
Reinforcing the idea that reading a newspaper is still a daily habit for millions, she added: “It’s not something that people just pick up once or twice a month… what we need to reinforce for advertisers is that this is still a really important and vital medium.”
Secondly, time. With readers spending on average one hour 17 minutes with a newspaper on days they read one (and an extra nine minutes on Sunday), Turner explained the benefits both to readers and advertisers.
“When you’re holding a print newspaper, you cannot do anything else at the same time, it’s quite hard”, she said, adding later: “What [print] really helps people to do is work out what’s happening in the world and why”, whether that was hard news or other lifestyle subjects that readers care about.
Driving attention, effectiveness and intent
Thirdly, attention. Mentioning research carried out with Lumen, Turner stated that on average 75% of readers look at each print ad on the page, with standout increases for Black Friday (84%) and during the Christmas period (86%). This is also true for dwell time, with Black Friday averaging at 2.3 seconds, Christmas at 2.6 seconds and top seasonal campaigns performing even more highly.
“When you see ads around Black Friday, the attention that is paid to those ads is absolutely astonishing because people are primed to want to know what’s going on”, she said.
Moving onto what print brings to the campaign media mix, Turner used data from a study into the effects of different mediums on audiences. The data showed people who recognised the newspaper element of a campaign also demonstrated higher levels of brand knowledge (+18 percentage points), purchase intent (+23 percentage points), word-of-mouth (+29 percentage points) and advocacy (+23 percentage points).
“Channels are not substitutable, they all have different roles to play”, she explained. “Newspapers and print have a really important part and role to play in driving people along… giving them the reassurance that the brand that they’re buying is reliable and reputable.”
Finally, effectiveness. 55% of cases in the IPA Databank between 2018-20 reported very large trust effects, up from 11% 10 years ago. Speaking on the role of trust for advertisers, Turner said: “If you want your brand to appear in a place where people will respect it, where people will consider it, it needs to be a trusted place.”
Also mentioned was Newsworks’ latest RAMetrics research, which showed that ad recall, brand recognition, action and engagement with news brand print advertising had all grown in strength between 2012 and 2021.
Speaking with Mark Challinor after the presentation, Turner encouraged media planners to think again about the power of print on their media plans. “Just because it’s shiny and new, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best thing”, she explained.
“You need to have a balance… the optimal use of channels in a campaign is three or four, so print has definitely got to be one of those.”