Monday, August 19, 2013

Does Traditional Advertising Still Work?

Does Traditional Advertising Still Work?

The short answer is, everything has its place. Meaning, maybe not every campaign needs print. Certainly every campaign doesn’t need radio, TV or outdoor. But every campaign needs a strategic, integrated mix of multiple media to maximize effectiveness and impact.

Over 47% of shoppers are most likely to start an online search after viewing a magazine ad, reports the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association.

According to a survey by PR News and BurrellesLuce, the two most important media categories that help execs attain their goals are print and broadcast (38% and 24%, respectively).

Print – Newspapers & Magazines

From 2006 to 2012, the average recall of ads (among readers of newspapers) has increased by 7%, according to a study by Research and Analysis of Media of Americas, Inc. And MRI Survey reports that magazines hold the biggest influence over consumers (61%). Added to that, print has a tangibility that appeals to many consumers. This physicality also gives print longer life, with additional impressions through pick-ups and hand-downs to secondary and even tertiary readers.

Newspapers enjoy a more pervasive presence, appearing in many homes and offices and offering a high likelihood of exposure, with online editions further expanding the possibilities. Seven in 10 adults access content from newspaper media each week, says the Newspaper Association of America’s SenseMaker Report, conducted by Scarborough Research.

Magazines offer possibilities for incisive targeting, by geography, hobby, profession, interest and more, as well as high-quality advertising thanks to high-quality production. Tendencies toward keeping magazines as a reference, keepsake or simply for future reading pleasure give them an extended shelf life hard to match.


Remember outdoor isn’t only billboards. Think beyond them to the new term “out-of-home” media, and you’re thinking potential. Some say outdoor ads reach a “captured” audience, because when you’re in the car or on the road, you can’t help but look at that billboard, moving outdoor board or bus ad.

More important, The Arbitron National In-Car Study found that billboard viewers make shopping decisions while in the car (72%). On average, Americans spend nearly 20 hours a week in the car and travel over 200 miles each week. And 71% of us “often look at the messages on roadside billboards” (traditional and digital combined). Not surprisingly, a MarketShare Partners study found that outdoor works best in conjunction with other tactics, providing a “significantly higher sales lift” when paired with TV and radio.


A recent Gallup poll found that TV remains the leading source of news for US adult consumers. The latest Cross-Platform Report from Nielsen found that the amount of traditional TV content we consume is increasing.

In fact, even Twitter sees the importance of TV, recently launching a TV Ad Targeting service that lets advertisers track tweets about the program where the ad was aired. Says Twitter Product Manager of Revenue Michael Fleischman: “Synchronized Twitter and TV ad campaigns make brand messages more engaging, interactive and measurable.”


While the effectiveness of radio has been long debated among media pundits and planners alike, it does have a remarkable ability to maintain audience delivery even when the commercials come on—giving it real-time reach. Arbitron reports that radio delivers more than 93% of its lead-in audience levels during the average commercial break.

Not only do people stay with radio once it’s on; they’ve been staying with it for years. In 2002, 93% of people used radio each week. In 2012, that number remained the same, and the total use per day had increased to 8.25 hours for radio, TV and the internet combined, according to studies by Edison Research and Arbitron.

To put it into perspective, that means more people listen to the radio on a typical day than use Facebook, Google Web Search or YouTube. However, you do need to realize that options such as XM, Pandora and mobile devices/Itunes are stealing away listenership every year. Our long-term view of radio is one of concern unless you factor in the original content of “talk” radio.

The Mix

The reality is that any successful advertising effort starts with assessment. Look at your objectives,  audience, and budget. Once you have those answers, take a look at traditional advertising and how it relates to your online advertising program. That said, an effective campaign is an integrated campaign—one that cleverly and strategically mixes traditional advertising with digital and other now-traditional non-traditional media. And the short answer is: everything has its place.