RESULTS - The largest cross-media advertising effectiveness study in Australia

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 15 March 2021
ThinkNewsBrands study

Premium news content works for advertisers, with superior brand recall and likeliness to buy, according to a study commissioned by an alliance of Australian media groups. 

Placing ads with premium news on both print and digital gave a six times higher brand lift than a general placement across the internet, according to the study. 

ThinkNewsBrands, representing premium news creators Nine Entertainment, Seven West Media and News Corp Australia, today released details of its Benchmark Series, the largest cross-media advertising effectiveness study conducted in Australia.

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 key result: National and metro news is highly effective advertising channel based on its unique ability to encode brand memories.

Advertising placed in national and metro news, in print and digital, delivers superior brand recall and purchase propensity.

The Benchmark Series study, overseen by Duane Varan, CEO of audience research lab MediaScience, included more than 5,350 participants and ran across 42 print runs and 252 websites which together created 6,037 unique brand exposures.

“This is a landmark study, both for Australia and globally," says Dr Varan. 

"The sheer scale and scope of the cross-platform comparison is unprecedented. The overarching finding of the research is that national and metro news, in print and digital form, are extremely effective at embedding brands in people’s memories. 

"The reason for this is that when people consume news content, they enter an active and alert state of mind and this carries over to the advertising in the channel.” 

Findings include:

  • Advertising in printed national and metro newspapers gives 8.5 times greater unprompted recall than the run of the internet. Print is highly effective at embedding brands in memories with unprompted recall at 34% compared to 4% for run of the internet.
  • Ads placed around digital news delivers superior memory and recall. Digital news channels also deliver a strong uptick in brand recall with unprompted recall 26% for digital national and metro news versus 11% for run of the internet.
  • Print + digital news combinations generate 3.5 times greater brand lift compared to run of the internet (non-premium sites including but not limited to TechRadar, The Daily Mail, Yahoo, Mamamia and Buzzfeed). Cross-platform, these benefits are amplified with the study finding the combination of print and digital news further widens the gap on effectiveness versus other publications. The combination drives unprompted recall of 32% versus just 5% for run of the internet.
  • Ads placed in Total News are 2.2 times better remembered than run of the internet. Advertising in Total News (print and digital news assets) channels delivers unprompted recall of 22% compared to just 10% for run of the internet. It also yields superior sales impact with 1.8 times brand lift.
  • Benefits are more pronounced among light category consumers. With light category consumers, the most important segment for brand growth, news advertising widens the effectiveness gap with unprompted recall 19% compared to 7% for run of the internet.
  • Ads in Total News deliver stronger brand choice lift and a high propensity to purchase. As measured via discreet choice modelling, brand choice for Total News is 14% compared to just 9% for run of the internet. This gap widens for light buyers with brand lift increasing from 4% for run of the internet to 11% for Total News.

ThinkNewsBrands general manager Vanessa Lyons: “The findings are clear: as an advertising channel, news has the power to increase the propensity to purchase due to the halo created by the engaging, trusted and professionally produced content.

“This research, combined with the impressive daily reach of news, its vast and growing audience, and clear cross-platform performance, make a compelling case for marketers to reappraise their perceptions of news.”

The methodology of the research:

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus