Reader engagement in Chile boosts ad effectiveness

Magazines in Chile are able to generate a series of experiences for the reader which have a positive impact on advertising effectiveness – through the engagement which magazines induce.

Cristobal Benavides of the School of Communication at the University of the Andes, Santiago, and Aldo van Weezel of the Associacion Nacional de la Prensa Chile, have published ‘Engaging Readers: A study of magazine advertising effectiveness in the Chilean media market’. It involved qualitative and quantitative stages of research.

Qualitative results
Focus groups showed that readers are very loyal to the magazines they read, they look forward to the arrival of new issues, and dedicate a special time to read them. Verbatim comments included “It’s a me-time, a time to relax”, “It is very easy to be transported by the stories and pictures in a magazine”, “Reading magazines connects you with the world”,  “After lunch I read in my couch” and “It is a pleasure reading magazines. I get disconnected [from daily cares]”.

Quantitative results
The quantitative stage used a sample of 935 frequent readers of magazines. There were questions concerning nine aspects and experiences of reading, such as ‘inspirational’, ‘community connection’, talking about and sharing’, ‘ad rejection’, and so on. There were also six questions on advertising effectiveness, such as ‘advertising in magazines helps me in my buying decision-making’, ‘products in magazine ads are high quality and exclusive’, ‘I always pay attention to ads in a magazine’, and so on. Regression analysis was used to assess the associations between advertising effectiveness and each of the nine aspects and experiences of reading.

The results showed that the positive aspects of engagement (such as ‘community connection’, ‘inspirational’ etc) were strongly correlated with high ad effectiveness. The report states that “this means that talking about and sharing the content of a magazine, the feeling of belonging to a community, being inspired, and enjoying a time-out are important experiences positively related to how effective is the advertising in a magazine.”

Comparing magazines with other media, the survey also established that readers find advertising in magazines is clearer and more entertaining than ads in newspapers and television. Ads in magazines are not seen as interruptions in the way that they are in television. Readers also think that ads in magazines match television in making products look attractive, and they out-perform newspaper ads in this respect.

Chile and the world
The survey report states that a “limitation of this study relates to the sample; it addresses the Chilean market only”. However the findings are in fact very much in accord with results in many other countries around the world. For instance there are several examples in the chapters ‘Consumers’ use of print’ and ‘Impact of advertisements in print’ in the FIPP research handbook ‘Proof of Performance: Making the case for magazine media’ (or POP for short). The Chilean results reinforce another point made in POP by author Guy Consterdine: “In a wide range of countries, covering many different situations in the media market and varied social scenes, the same conclusions emerge about magazines – about the way they are read, the targeting they achieve, and the influence they generate on the consumer’s purchase journey. The characteristics and power of magazines are global.”

For further details of the Chilean survey contact or

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