What role does environment and context play in ad effectiveness? Firstly, lets explain what we mean by the term context, from an advertising perspective. It could refer to the consumer’s literal location when they see the ad, or the time of day at which they see it. Both of these will affect their reaction to the ad. Or it could be the media channel on which the ad appears and the content that surrounds it. Either way, we would argue that, in an age where there is an attention deficit, context is paramount.
There is a situation in our industry where billions of advertiser pounds are flooding into platforms that can’t guarantee where your ads will be viewed. It can be dressed up with headlines and soundbites, but there’s no getting away from the truth: as is so often the case in life, it’s where you’re seen that counts. That’s one of newbrands’ great strengths. The quality, relevant environments they create is a pretty big ‘pro’ in our current digital ‘Wild West’.
The context effect
The engagement, trust and personal identification that regular readers have with their newsbrand creates a significant and powerful newsbrand context effect across all platforms including print, tablet and online newsbrands. Regular readers are “primed” to respond more favourably to advertising due to the existing relationship they have with their newsbrand. When looking specifically at digital newsbrand platforms, the context effect can offset consumer dislike of online advertising.
This context effect is found across measures such as brand love, buzz and consideration. According to projections from physical tests with print and tablet newsbrands, merged with online tests on computers, the newsbrand environment can be seen to improve brand love by 21%, brand buzz by 31% and consideration by up to 68% for a range of top advertisers. Each individual platform showed that there was a context effect, while for digital newsbrands in particular (via computer) this effect was a higher than it was for non-newsbrand news sites.
Interestingly, the context effect is both emotional and rational, implicit and explicit. It also increases significantly when people interact with a physical newspaper or tablet edition. Unsurprisingly, the more engaged readers are with their chosen newsbrand, the higher the context effect.
We instinctively know that the newsbrand context conveys importance, trustworthiness and immediacy, especially in print. That’s why brands turn to newspaper brands when there is a crisis, as Facebook did to help people navigate the issues around fake news. However, we also have the proof that advertisers don’t need to wait for an emergency but can reap the benefits of the trusted newsbrand context for ongoing brand building communications.
Power of newsbrands to capture attention
With attention at a premium in our device dominated world, making sure people actually see ads – and in the right place at the right time – is more complex than ever before. As Lumen’s managing director Mike Follett said: “Just because an ad can be seen, doesn’t mean that it will be seen.”
Eye-tracking research, conducted by Lumen, demonstrates the power of newsbrand context to capture attention across both print and digital platforms and demonstrates the value of newsbrands’ quality environment, as well as how newsbrand content creates attention for advertisers. Eye-tracking allows us to see “what people actually do, not what they say they do”. By measuring automatic reactions, these implicit responses can be used to gain insights into consumer behaviour.
Newsbrands’ trusted quality content engages readers and this impacts how they respond to advertising, whether in print or digital formats. Lumen’s findings build on Newsworks’ own research and demonstrate the power of trusted newsbrands to build a personal connection and ensure that people put time aside for reading.
In print, we know that newspapers are largely a solus medium, with 60% of readers not consuming any other media as the same time as them. It is evident from the Lumen research that 75% of readers look at each print ad on average and ads that are viewed for 2.5 times longer than the average digital ad. Larger sizes, special formats and multiple ads per issue increase impact and dwell times, as well as advertising around special events like Black Friday and Christmas.
In addition to providing an engaged context for advertisers to reach consumers, newspapers also give brands the opportunity to align themselves with relevant content and topical events – increasing their relevance to readers. Some great past examples include: