Within a half hour period, magazines deliver more than twice the number of ad impressions as TV and more than six times those delivered online, according to a study by McPheters & Company conducted in cooperation with Cond? Nast and CBS Vision.
The research, which employed an experimental methodology to explore the relative effectiveness of ads on TV, in magazines and on the internet, also found that though TV doesn’t deliver as many ads per half hour as magazines, net recall of TV ads was almost twice that of magazine ads. Meanwhile, magazines still had ad recall almost three times that of internet banner ads.
The study was designed to provide comparable measures of ad effectiveness across multiple media, using 30-second TV ads, full-page 4-color magazine ads, and internet banner ads in standard sizes. Eye-tracking software also was used to determine whether – and under what circumstances – internet ads were seen by respondents.
Matched groups of respondents were recruited to spend 30 minutes with a single medium in a laboratory setting, where they either watched a choice of sit-coms, read a magazine they selected, or surfed the internet at will. At the end of the period, they filled out similar online surveys that asked whether they recalled seeing four ads which appeared in the medium they consumed. in order to establish the level of over-claiming, which is known to vary by medium, they were also asked whether they recalled seeing four ads that had not appeared. These results were then used to calculate net recall or ad absorption for each medium.
Additional study findings:
- 85% of internet ads served appeared on-screen and could be identified by brand.
- Among web users, 63% of banner ads were not seen. Respondents’ eyes passed over 37% of the internet ads and stopped on slightly less than a third.
- For internet ads, almost all net recall could be attributed to ads that were seen.
- Internet video ads appeared much less frequently than banner ads, and their exposure skewed heavily toward young men. When they did appear they were twice as likely to be seen as banner ads.
When study results were used in combination with other information on probability of exposure, a full-page 4-color magazine ad was determined to have 83% of the value of a 30-second television commercial, while a typical Internet banner ad has 16% of the value, McPheters & Company said.
“Because different media deliver ad impressions at vastly different rates, this study provides clear evidence that time spent with a medium does not translate into value for advertisers,” said Scott McDonald, SVP of research for Cond? Nast. “It also indicates that magazine advertising is undervalued relative to its effectiveness.”
“As more and more advertisers try to figure out how to communicate their story across media platforms, this form of experimental research will become an increasingly critical element in pre-campaign planning,” Dave Poltrack, chief research officer for CBS and president of CBS Vision.
This study reports similar findings to one recently announced by the Magazine Publishers of America, which found that magazines reap the most ad value per minute compared with other major media.
About the study: The study used McPheters & Company’s AdWorks methodology, and was conducted in CBS Vision’s Television City facilities at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. According to McPheters & Company, the effort represents an unusual example of collaboration on the part of companies with competing media interests.