Newspaper Advertising: Case study - Garnier Nutrisse Red Range

The Story

Newspapers reflect society, so it's not surprising that fashion and entertainment coverage is flourishing. And for female readers in particular, keeping on top of the very latest celebrity gossip or being up to speed on what's happening in a favourite TV show is important. Their newspaper lets them do that. Coverage of Big Brother is a good example; the programme and the papers have an almost symbiotic relationship.

What could this synergy offer advertisers? The Newspaper Marketing Agency approached Garnier with the offer of testing the Garnier Nutrisse "Ravishing Reds" campaign. The ads featured the presenter of Big Brother, Davina McCall, and had been running on TV and in magazines. The campaign objective was to drive awareness of the new range. What would adding newspapers to the TV campaign deliver? Would placing ads next to fashion or lifestyle editorial drive stand-out and engagement? And what about leveraging the link between Davina and Big Brother editorial in the popular press?

Qualitative consumer research was commissioned to understand how to make the campaign work as hard as possible in the newspaper environment. Was it a case of simply taking the magazine work (1) and placing it in the paper? Or did there need to be changes to their standard template?

It was clear that the use of Davina was an example of celebrity endorsement which made sense. Consumers identified with her friendly, down-to-earth personality and great hair. For the newspaper reader (who is scanning, flicking and filtering as they move through the paper), Davina is an arresting image. It's the type of ad the consumer is used to seeing in magazines; in the paper it was surprising and had stopping power. Placing ads next to Big Brother editorial enhanced the effect of using Davina; there was a real sense of fit and relevance due to the juxtaposition. It made the brand feel current and "now".

Using full-colour pages didn't just deliver impact, it allowed the readers to see how her hair really looked and make their own judgment. One of the strengths of the campaign was the range of "beautiful hair" shots.

Tracking of the final campaign (2-4) showed the synergy between the TV and newspapers ads added value - recognition and branding levels were significantly above the Millward Brown norms. For the newspaper ads, recognition was more than double the norm for press.

It appeared that the newspaper and TV ads were working in a complementary way; communication for each strand of activity was improved further when women also saw the other media. Certainly, the TV and newspaper combination delivered much stronger increases on image measures than just TV alone.

The focus groups had suggested that these ads would drive purchase. This proved to be the case, with the newspaper campaign driving an incremental 8.8 per cent sales increase for the "Ravishing Reds" collection and a 4.3 per cent increase for the total Garnier Nutrisse range. This was over and above promotional and TV advertising effects. The more consumers were exposed to the newspaper campaign, the greater the sales effect.

Earlier NMA insight work on how ads placed in the gossip/entertainment sections could heighten emotional response and memorability implied that this campaign would work well. Having some hard numbers to back up the theory was a real win for us.

- Anne Foster is the planning director at the Newspaper Marketing Agency.