IPA Databank study 2019

by Peter Field


Effectiveness expert Peter Field analysed the very large business effects of a further 38 UK 2018 cases from the IPA Effectiveness Awards Databank, building on his previous analysis from 2012-2016 and bringing the total to a very robust 146 cases. The aim is to understand the business effectiveness of UK newsbrands and how this has developed over time. As the modern media landscape continues to change, it is important that we understand the strength of newsbrands in a multi-platform world.

Newsbrands help to conquer short-termism while delivering a sales impact

UK newsbrands are a powerful weapon in the battle against short-termism because they deliver business effects that are vital to long-term brand success. It’s not just about immediate sales at any cost. Campaigns that use newsbrands continue to be significantly more likely (+37%) to drive very large increases in share growth, attract new customers (+50%) and increase loyalty among existing customers (three times higher than campaigns without newsbrands). They reduce price sensitivity and therefore reduce the need to rely on short-term cost-cutting promotions. Encouragingly, the latest data also shows that campaigns that include newsbrands are 9% more likely to deliver sales growth 

This all leads to bigger profits and a larger ROI.  

Multi-platform newsbrands deliver strong business effects and amplify other media

UK newsbrands have a unique advantage – both print and digital platforms perform very well separately in delivering important business effects, but the combination of print and digital formats provides advertisers with a strong multiplier effect. After a previously big increase in the use of digital newsbrands without print, the latest data is stable. Using both print and digital newsbrands in the campaign mix delivers almost three times the business effects of campaigns using just one platform.  

The multiplier effect is also growing. When looking at the two most recent effectiveness awards (2016, 2018) versus the previous two (2012, 2014), using both print and digital newsbrands almost doubles the uplift in business effects compared with campaigns that don’t use newsbrands at all. 

Newsbrands remain a highly effective multiplier for other media. This is seen both for “legacy” media such as TV where newsbrands increase business effectiveness by 66% and for key digital media, where newsbrands make online video an impressive 81% more effective and social media over twice as effective.  

Having newsbrands in the media mix continues to reap dividends. A powerful example of the strength and quality environment of digital newsbrands is the impact they have in combination with TV advertising. When TV is coupled with online display on non-newsbrand sites, the impact on business effects is +41%. When digital newsbrands are included in the digital plan this rises to +82%.  

Given the issues that continue to occur surrounding programmatic and algorithms, there is a strong brand health case for being much more selective in digital media. Peter Field’s analysis concludes that there is also a very strong business case for actively choosing the online newsbrand environment.

Print effectiveness grows as overall advertising effectiveness falls

Newspaper print effectiveness is growing over time across key business measures, bucking the overall trend of decreasing campaign effectiveness. As the use of digital media increases, “legacy” media like TV and newspapers are working harder in the media mixThere can be an assumption that digital channels are most appropriate for delivering sales and bringing in new customers. But the analysis shows that in fact print is increasingly effective at delivering new customers to brand advertisers. Furthermore, in the last six years of IPA Databank entries (2012-2018), campaigns including print deliver a very impressive 127% uplift in market share effects compared to those without. 

As the digital sphere continues to proliferate, print is being used less frequently by advertisers – and they will reap lower profits as a result. 


Please note: This study looks at the recent business effectiveness of UK print and digital newsbrands. It cannot be compared with similar studies that analyse media effectiveness across the entire global database since 1980.