What makes a good print ad? Findings from Finland reported at FIPP Research Forum

Vaula Norrena, Valores Consult, Finland presented a study to attendees at FIPP’s Research Forum today (24 May) in Barcelona.

The study was carried out for the Finnish Periodical Publishers Association (FPPA), in order to find out the secret of the best print ads in media sectors including food, health and wellness, interior decoration and fashion.

The study’s methodology took the form of three parts: A pre-selection of good ads, depth interviews and semiotic analysis. Combining methodologies, said Norrena, gives greater depth and richer data.  

Norrena presented several sets of results, with one example being what makes a good food ad.

According to the reader results, attributes are:

  1. Makes your mouth water
  2. Delicious colours
  3. Clear
  4. Shows the product big enough
  5. Nice feeling
  6. Gives a hint for using product
  7. A nice idea
  8. Little text
  9. Arouses a thought ‘I should try/buy’
  10. Guaranteed by quality label of brand

According to the semiotics, the following makes a good food ad:

  1. Colours communicate a lot more
  2. Organic shapes
  3. ‘Good to eat’ typographies
  4. Sensuality
  5. Countryside, garden or holiday stories
  6. Symbolics, eg. Food = love, caring, sharing
  7. Myths of wealth and paradise
  8. Myths of hedonism and social status
  9. Symbols of quality and security

The FIPP Research Forum
is a two-day event for publishers, researchers and marketing executives
in the magazine business. It has attracted some of the world’s leading
magazine research professionals, who meet to discuss the latest issues
and developments in the industry worldwide.

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