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The Benchmark Series: The Powerful Impact of Ad Placement

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The latest findings from The Benchmark and Payback Series show advertising in news is more effective than advertising on social media platforms. When it comes to increasing brand and sales impact, ads placed in news consistently outperform both Facebook and YouTube. The findings come from The Benchmark Series, the largest cross-media advertising effectiveness study ever conducted in Australia. Commissioned by ThinkNewsBrands, and overseen by Dr Duane Varan, CEO of audience research lab MediaScience, the study included more than 5,350 participants and ran across 42 print runs and 252 websites which together created 6,037 unique brand exposures.

The study set out to understand the impact news platforms have along the path to purchase by measuring key metrics across short- and long-term memory as well as brand lift. The first tranche of the research launched earlier this year demonstrating the effectiveness of advertising in news versus run of the internet*. Dr Varan said: “Benchmark is the first study of its kind properly comparing news versus social media in terms of ad impact. The results fill an important void in understanding the larger media landscape.”

The latest findings of the research include:
Ads in printed newspapers** outperform Facebook ads of all types by up to four times Whether comparing print ads with display, six or 15 second Facebook ads, news offers a superior level of unprompted recall.

Combined news formats are twice as effective as combined Facebook formats Advertising across the combination of news in print and digital is twice as effective as Facebook display and video for unprompted recall. Ads in news are as good as (or better than) ads on YouTube Ads in news deliver 1.7 times the unprompted recall of six-second YouTube ads and are on par with 15 second YouTube ads, whether on desktop or mobile. News offers a stronger ROI than social media Additionally, The Payback Series research, conducted in conjunction with GroupM Australia and global marketing effectiveness consultancy Gain Theory, found news offers a greater return on media investment than social media ThinkNewsBrands General Manager Vanessa Lyons said: “This research is a wake-up call for marketers: investing heavily in social media advertising isn’t the answer you’ve been led to believe.  “Wouldn’t you rather reach your audience in an active, receptive state than a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scroll? Delivering the strongest reach, greater memorability and immediate ROI, there’s simply no alternative for news.”