REPORT ON WORLDWIDE ADVERTISING: The power of print - A new study shows that print should not be forgotten in the current rush to integrate new media. Report by Meg Carter

Much has changed since the International Federation of the Periodical Press (FIPP) published The Media Multiplier report back in 1991. The focus at that time was on proving the effectiveness of TV and print together as TV gathered force across the world. Intervening years have seen the rapid development of new media and growing interest in how to better integrate advertising campaigns across different media.

Much has changed since the International Federation of the

Periodical Press (FIPP) published The Media Multiplier report back in

1991. The focus at that time was on proving the effectiveness of TV and

print together as TV gathered force across the world. Intervening years

have seen the rapid development of new media and growing interest in how

to better integrate advertising campaigns across different media.



It was only a matter of time, then, before newspaper and magazine

publishers felt a need to strike back. Which is why this month sees the

launch of a new FIPP study: Take a Fresh Look at Print.



The study, which is sponsored in the UK by both the Periodical

Publishers Association and the Newspaper Publishers Association, takes

as its starting point comments made by the Unilever chairman, Niall

Fitzgerald, to the European Association of Advertising Agencies in

October 1997. In his Advertising for a Successful Europe speech,

Fitzgerald called for thinking beyond the conception and production of

30-second TV commercials.



’All I am asking you to understand is that competence in TV alone is no

longer enough,’ he said. ’I am not asking you to desert it; I am asking

you to improve your understanding of it. And I am asking you to show the

same commitment, interest and adventurous spirit in your examination and

mastery of all the new media opportunities.’



’But what about magazines and newspapers?’ Alan Smith, FIPP research

consultant and author of Take a Fresh Look at Print, asks. ’It is

understandable that ’new media’ should have provided the focus for

integrated marketing communications. However, there is now overwhelming

evidence that many companies are losing profits by failing to apply the

same principles to the mainstream media of print and TV as well.’



The report argues that there are a number of key reasons for using print

in a campaign. Firstly, the time spent with print advertising is under

the direct control of the consumer - a print ad can be studied as long

as it holds a reader’s interest. Secondly, the factual and informative

content of a print ad is handled by the left side of the brain - a

complement to emotive and visual images handled by the right. Thirdly,

the link between print editorial and reader is stronger than for any

other medium.



Equally import is the fact that increased and improved analysis is now

able to quantify the tangible benefits of these effects, the report

says.



Smith cites recent work by Millward Brown for the Magazine Publishers of

America which covers 113 brands using magazines and quantifies the

impact of this on campaigns also using TV. This found that 61 per cent

of brands analysed demonstrated a ’significant’ relationship between

advertising awareness and purchase intent and that of the awareness

driving this change, 65 per cent was attributed to a combination of both

magazines and TV working together.



A German study known as Werbe Wert 97, based on Nielsen shop audit data,

looked at the use of all different sorts of media working together and

concluded that each had its place, print being as important as any other

media.



Other work done by Millward Brown in the UK assessed awareness of print

and TV advertising and identified equal awareness for both TV and print

advertising - contrary to expectations that the TV figure would be

significantly higher.



In a number of named campaigns, print added demonstrable value, Smith

adds. Kenco, for example, enjoyed a 28 per cent increase in awareness of

its ads by adding print to its media schedule, for no additional overall

media expenditure.



Spontaneous awareness of Nestle Pretzel Flipz quickly rose to 32 per

cent as a result of a launch campaign comprising a series of day-long

concurrent bursts in three media - national newspapers, TV and radio -

structured to reach 70 per cent of the target market within a 24-hour

period.



In Australia the leading chocolate biscuit brand, Tim Tam, used magazine

advertising to complement its TV campaign for the first time in 1995 and

1996. A test campaign, using a Nielsen BrandScan panel, showed a 26 per

cent sales gain for magazine readers on the panel, compared with

purchases made by the non-readers.



In the past, the publishing industry’s argument that advertisers should

increase expenditure on newspapers and magazines has been underpinned by

the claim that print plus TV improves the targeting and value of

advertising communications. Yet it is an argument which has fallen flat

with many agencies as the traditional call for clients to divert budgets

from TV to print means an inevitable and negative effect on agency

income.



FIPP’s new position is certainly more pragmatic - and aggressive,

too.



It’s not a question of diverting budgets from TV to print, but of

increasing media budgets. Smith says: ’Wherever this money comes from,

whether it’s from sales promotion or elsewhere, there are now ample

research findings to support the benefits the industry claims.’



The time has come for publishers to move their argument on. ’The Media

Multiplier report had no hard marketplace evidence, although people were

becoming more convinced that mixed-media campaigns had additional

benefits,’ Smith admits. ’Since then, much research using sales,

purchase and campaign tracking data now proves the case.’



In fact, he adds, if print reaches a significant proportion of an

advertiser’s market, TV-only campaigns should require specific

justification. Only time will tell, however, if advertisers and their

finance departments are as easily convinced.



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