How to get the most out of your campaign

How to get the most out of your campaign

Three Steps to Synchronise Newspaper & TV Campaigns for Maximum Efficiency.

Understand why newspapers should be added to a TV schedule and the compelling arguments to do so.

The essential argument for why newspapers and TV work so well together can be summed up with three key points:

  1. To achieve scale, TV and newspapers reach potential buyers more efficiently than either medium does on its own.
  2. Creatively, they complement each other. They combine to build and reinforce brand salience.
  3. For return on investment, newspapers and TV engage consumers to drive sales for brands in low- and high-consideration categories – e.g. fast food (low) and cars (high).

While this rationale is logical, the task of creating the media plan is complex. If this complexity is not well understood, then the commercial rationale for using both mediums in concert can unravel.

Every client needs to be dealt with separately because each has its own challenges. However, the essential tactical details are consistent. These are:

  • Setting the length of the campaign;
  • Deciding the optimal balance between TV and newspapers;
  • Determining the sizes and duration of the ads; and
  • Selecting which days of the week, identifying key day parts and sections.

The strategic decisions around channel selection and timing do not vary either. Here are three steps to synchronise newspaper and TV campaigns for maximum efficiency.

Step 1

Use the consumers’ media consumption for channel selection

Understanding the consumer is the starting point. Once we’ve identified which buyers to target – the most profitable generally being the total user base of a specific category or segment – we can use their media usage to guide the plan.

With the amount of quality data available, planners are no longer forced to use demographic measures such as age and gender as rough surrogates for actual consumers. Databases such as emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) make it easy to analyse consumer habits and build detailed media profiles.

Using the wine category as an example, cross-tabbing the TV and newspaper habits
of the top 20 per cent of wine buyers is a simple way to understand how they consume this media in a typical week:


Source: emma, 12 months to August 2014; percentages in cells represent percentage of heavy wine drinkers.

  • Big spenders on wine tend to be medium TV viewers (41%) and heavy newspaper readers (33%).
  • 40% watch two or more hours of TV a day and read three or more newspapers a week.
  • 23% don’t read newspapers, 16% don’t watch TV, but only 6% do neither.

Using both media minimises the chance of missing the target audience (only 6% don’t watch TV or read newspapers each week). The overlap creates an opportunity to have the ads in both media reinforce each other, providing additional depth and impact.

That aside, and based on the strength of each medium, both TV and newspapers are justified for inclusion in a schedule as stand-alone media choices.

Additional analysis confirms this: most heavy wine buyers are consistent commercial TV viewers, while a single weekday ad in metro daily newspapers in the “five cap cities” (the major metro TV markets of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth) would reach one-third (32%) of these wine buyers.


Source: emma, 12 months to August 2014

Step 2

Refine the plan to reflect the geography

Limiting media selection to the five capital cities is a sub-optimal choice. They make up 56 per cent of the population, which is substantial. The other 46 per cent can be found in centres such as Canberra, Hobart, Darwin, Newcastle, Geelong and the Gold Coast (31%) and regional towns (13%).

The areas outside the five capitals cities are above-average buyers of many product categories, such as frozen fish (6% above average), baking mix products (+5%), and nappies (+4%).

Adding brand data to category data is helpful. Comparing the Brand Development Index with the Category Development Index (BDI/CDI) is a quick way to prioritise which areas offer the greatest sales potential, starting at the state/territory level and progressively drilling down.



Source: emma, 12 months to August 2014

Newspapers are especially powerful for geographic targeting as different classes of newspapers provide different advantages.

Metro newspapers, unlike metro TV stations, provide effective reach into regional Australia. Some 40 percent of readers of the “cap city” dailies live outside the metro areas. This makes them effective in regional markets as well as the major cities.

This might seem like a good reason to use metro newspapers only. They are an excellent base but ignoring regional and local publications would be a mistake.

Newspapers are a community medium

Regional newspapers are highly targeted with 96 per cent of their readers in towns and regional centres. This media “footprint” may also change the nature of the ad creative with a focus on more localised messages.

Far more than TV, newspapers have extraordinary flexibility to tailor media weight and messages at the local level. Television is an outstanding medium for blanketing an area but has no capacity for localisation.

Community-focused newspapers make local area marketing in high value areas viable for brand messages and retail promotions.

Localisation isn’t restricted to regional markets. Local community newspapers provide advertisers with the ability to provide more granular targeting within metropolitan markets.


Source: emma, 12 months to August 2014

Step 3

Keep your message in front of consumers

One of the biggest mistakes an advertiser can make is to be off-air and out-of-print for long periods. Unless you have a seasonal brand, you put yourself at a huge disadvantage. Relying on heavy flighting for short periods, followed by inactivity, is inefficient.

Heavy concentrations of advertising build reach quickly, but at the cost of high short-term duplication. As pointed out in an earlier article, most of the impact on sales comes from the first exposure during the week. One study found 73
per cent of the sales increase came from the first exposure, 27 per cent from all the rest. 1

Using more days in the week, and more weeks in the year, allows the advertising to reach more light viewers and readers. In any short period, some individuals in a target audience will consume little or no media, which provides a cap on potential reach. In the longer term, they come back and will be exposed to a campaign.

Continuous advertising also means the ads are likely to be closer to the time of purchase. This matters because the impact of advertising fades. Recency theory states the closer to the time of purchase, the less time there is for the ad to fade. An ad seen yesterday has more impact than one published six months ago.2 Yet, some agencies ignore this and spend all the client’s money in a short period. A campaign that builds reach more slowly in the short term will reach more people more often over time.

Continuity provides more flexibility in selecting key properties. For TV, using a higher percentage of off-peak and lower-rating primetime programs across more days of the week typically builds reach more cost efficiently.

For newspapers, using multiple titles on different days, combined with sections and features, also makes achieving reach goals more affordable.

The tyranny of budgets

Budget and media costs provide hard limits, which influence the available options. A brand with a $200,000 annual advertising budget will never afford a major TV sponsorship. Other factors, such as seasonality or tie-ins with retailers, often dictate spending. Nonetheless, the less concentrated the campaign, the greater the efficiency.

The creative wildcard

Digging into the numbers is essential for assessing media selection, but equally the role of the creative idea should never be underestimated. Strong ideas create opportunities above and beyond the numbers.

If the agency presents a campaign spearheaded by a brilliant 60-second commercial supported by half-page newspaper ads, the balance tips more towards television. If they propose a series of high-impact double-page spreads accompanied by 15-second TVCs, the balance shifts to print.

There’s considerable science underpinning channel selection and scheduling, but there’s also an art. The role of experience and intuition should never be discounted.


1 1 What Does Effective Frequency Mean in 1997? / Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 37 No. 4/John Philip Jones/July-August 1995; When Ads Work: New Proof that Advertising Triggers Sales/ John Philip Jones/ 1993.

2 Media Scheduling: Continuity vs. Flighting / Mi hui Pak / ARF – Knowledge at Hand: April 2013

The author: Brian Rock is Research & Insights Manager at The Newspaper Works. Previous experience includes 11 years as Strategic Insights Manager at Network TEN, 3 years as Research Director at Mitchell Media Partners, and 8 years lecturing in Advertising and Marketing at RMIT University.

We hope you have enjoyed the information presented here. Connect with us for more insights and news about our industry.

If you have any questions or if you want to know more about how to apply the strategies discussed, please get in touch: or 02 96926300

View Part One of the series here.

View Part Two of the series here.

View Part Three of the series here.

View Part Four of the series here.


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