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Advertising in reliable news sources provides greater branding effectiveness


A study by MAGNA & Disney underscores the importance of reliable news sources for advertisers in … [+] Build brand effectiveness. ABC World News Tonight presenter David Muir. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images for Save The Children)

Getty Images for Save the Children

In a polarizing political environment, news programs on numerous platforms continue to generate millions of viewers every day. In a political off-year, three 24-hour news channels remain the top three most rated cable channels on television. That said, polarizing comments or questionable content from news providers have sometimes led marketers concerned about brand safety to withdraw their ads. Conversely, reliable news providers with positive results remain a safe haven for advertisers.

A study by MAGNA Media Trials and Disney Advertising Sales, titled “No News Is Bad News: Advertising in News and Other Types of Content,” published today by MAGNA Media Trials and Disney Advertising Sales, shows that advertising in a trusted news source creates greater brand impact. The study also found that a bespoke ad in the news genre can generate the best possible ROI for marketers. Below are some more insights.

People found news content to be more valuable, trustworthy, and interesting. Respondents said that ads in news content were 8% more relevant, 6% more valuable, and 4% more trustworthy compared to non-news programs.

Messages that are considered depressing can still help increase brand impact. The study found that brand preference rose 7% while product recommendations rose 5% from ads on a gritty news show.

The survey also highlighted the importance of the credibility of news sources, especially with an upscale audience. A total of 57% of respondents said marketers should check news sources before they advertise. For upper-income households ($ 100,000 or more), 61% agreed the importance of the sources, compared with 52% for households with incomes of $ 35,000 or less.

Ads on a trusted, reputable, and high quality news source help advertisers drive lower funnel attributes like brand preference (+ 21%), research intent (+ 25%), and purchase intent (+ 21%).

Respondents said that advertising messages should vary depending on the type of message. For example, for “hard news,” a more targeted message increases brand exposure by 10%, purchase intent by 7%, and research intent by 5%. In contrast, race and culture news requires marketers to include a “storytelling” message that would increase popularity by 11% and purchase intent by 10%.

The survey concludes with the following implications:

· Brands should support quality journalism as they recognize that there is a difference between unsafe content and news on trusted websites.

· Advertisers should identify and deliver media to reliable news sources for greater effectiveness. The reliability of the source has a greater impact on advertising effectiveness than the news content itself.

· Optimize ad strategies that over-index your marketing goals as the same ad performs differently depending on the news genre

The poll was released at a time when social media was under attack and the government was under investigation into not limiting false reports and misinformation. According to a recent poll by Pew Research, 48% of adults in the US get their news “often” or “sometimes”.

Andrew Heyward, professor at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication and past president of CBS News, said, “This study is encouraging for both marketers and news organizations – and thus consumers. Marketers who advertise in news agencies benefit from a “halo effect” that depends more on the credibility of the news source than on the specifics of the content. Therefore, high-quality, trustworthy and responsible reporting is not only important for our democracy, but also good for the bottom line. “

Commenting on the survey, Joshua Lowcock, chief digital officer at UM Worldwide and global safety officer at IPG Mediabrands, said, “A key takeaway from the study is how passionate people are about the news source a brand is advertising on and the die Reliability from this source is an important factor in purchase intent. “Lowcock continues,” Brands should support quality journalism if they want to maximize the effectiveness of their advertising spend. It recognizes that credible and trustworthy news websites do not pose a risk to brand safety and that where you display your ad is important. “

Asaf Davidov, VP Measurement & Insights, Disney Advertising Sales, added, “The rich storytelling the news offers – from local coverage to pop culture to international affairs – is the opportunity. These findings confirm that consumers associate news ads with trustworthy and valuable. This gives brands the opportunity to tailor their message to the audience. “

A similar study with comparable results was led by media research director Bill Harvey. Of the results, Harvey said, “In the largest multivariate study in history ($ 2.2 trillion in sales vs. $ 48 billion in ad spend), we found that news and sports – the two main forms of live TV – Have the highest Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) of any linear television and digital genre, with the exception of digital network TV, which is even higher. A literature review suggests that the main reason news adverts is cognitive because it is the type of media that evokes the highest level of focused attention while watching and listening. “

With fundraising for the 2022 midterm elections soaring, it is projected that there will be a record year for political advertising money to rival the 2020 elections. Local news broadcasts, particularly in battlefield states, are expected to be a major beneficiary of the bounty, with candidates expected to invest billions of advertising dollars into the messaging. The reliability of the MAGNA / Disney poll for political (and hard) news sources is an important criterion.

The MAGNA / Disney study recruited participants from a nationally representative panel, in which they were randomly assigned to a branded advertisement or a control advertisement. Participants viewed a video or article of their choice on their assigned platform. Adequate ads were served based on test or control groups. A post-exposure survey was conducted to measure the impact on traditional brand metrics and to obtain qualitative feedback. The variables tested included content genres, news genres, platforms, ad formats, brand verticals, and creative strategies.


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