New study finds print ads beat Facebook ‘times over’

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The results of a new research study that shows that print ads are more effective than Facebook ads should be considered as a “wakeup call” to marketers, according to one industry analyst. The study, overseen by Duane Varan and commissioned by Australian publishers’ group ThinkNewsBrands, revealed that advertising on news platforms – including print – are more effective than Facebook or YouTube.

The study is described as the first of its kind properly comparing news versus social media in terms of ad impact. More than 5,350 participants were included in the study which ran across 42 print runs and 252 websites and which together created 6037 unique brand exposures.

The study set out to understand the impact news platforms have along the path to purchase, by measuring key metrics across short and longterm memory, as well as brand lift. The first tranche of the research showed the effectiveness of “advertising in news” against “nonpremium run of the internet sites” including TechRadar, the Daily Mail, Yahoo, Mamamia and Buzzfeed.

“The results fill an important void in understanding the larger media landscape,” Duane Varan said. Newly-released findings show that ads such as quarter, half, and fullpages in print outperform Facebook ads of all types by up to four times

Combined news formats were found to be twice as effective as combined Facebook formats, and advertising across a combination of news in print and digital was twice as effective as Facebook display and video for unprompted recall.

Ads in newsmedia were as good as (or better than) ads on YouTube, delivering 1.7 times the unprompted recall of sixsecond YouTube ads, and on par with 15second YouTube ads, whether on desktop or mobile.

ThinkNewsBrands general manager Vanessa Lyons said the research was a wakeup call for marketers. “Investing heavily in social media advertising isn’t the answer you’ve been led to believe,” she said.

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