Belgian study shows how magazines complement TV

Space analysed the Cross Media database created by CIM (Belgium’s Centre for Information about Media), which incorporates CIM national readership survey data together with audience data for television and several other media. 

Using their media planning tool Oscar+, Space examined different weights of spending in TV-only campaigns, and compared them with equivalent weights of spending allocated in varying proportions between TV and magazines.

They established that when a portion of the TV-only budget was allocated to magazines, the reach of the campaign always improved, as did the overall cost-effectiveness. The campaigns’ coverage of the lighter television viewers, in particular, could be dramatically increased.

A pattern of diminishing marginal returns for TV spending was found, meaning that beyond a certain level of spending, more spending produced smaller and smaller value. The marginal spending was better devoted to magazines.

While such findings are not new, it is important to re-test and renew the conclusions, with the media world evolving so rapidly. Many of the old truths of past decades remain true but it is necessary to demonstrate from time to time, and in a variety of countries, that they still hold good.

The Space analysis, reported in their 30 October 2014 Space newsletter, adds to the body of evidence described in my second edition of Proof of Performance v2 (POP v2), FIPP’s book making the case for magazine media as an advertising medium. It was published at the beginning of this month, and is downloadable free from

Tablet ads are as engaging as print ads

Another new study published just too late to make it into POP v2 comes from News UK, one of the leading newspaper publishers in the UK, including The Times which publishes a tablet edition of the daily paper. The research found that tablet ads are as memorable and engaging as print ads.

This was particularly interesting to me since I have included in POP v2 several studies which show the same conclusion regarding magazine ads in print and on tablets. For magazines, digital ads in tablet editions are as well read and noted as print ads, and tend to provoke even more action than print ads. Moreover the more interactivity embedded into the magazine digital ads, the greater the response – in terms of dwell time, memorability, and action taken. Now here was a study showing that the same thing applied to newspapers. Not that I was surprised – but it needed proving.

The News UK project used neuro-science (brain scanning) to track how readers subconsciously respond to the two platforms.

While there are some minor physical differences in how people access the newspaper content on different platforms, “if it is presented consistently, the way readers process the information and what they take out is similar across both editorial content and advertising”.

The report stated that print and digital both deliver “the same levels of memory encoding” – the ability to store and recall information. Memory encoding was consistent across print and tablet in terms of memory detail (left brain) and memory global (right brain).

One may conclude that reading behaviour is driven by content and not by platform – both for newspapers and for magazines.

FIPP Insight Forum and Awards

The dates for next year’s FIPP Insight Forum (formerly called Research Forum) have been announced. The event is to be held in Amsterdam in the offices of Sanoma on 18 & 19 May 2015. Details are given in separate articles, but in essence we have just issued the call for synopses for potential presentations at the Insight Forum, and the call for entries for the FIPP Insight Awards. In any case, why not put the dates in your diary now?

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