Hi-tech imagery wins it for a hi-tech TV

Sleek, high tech TVs are now a part of our furniture as technology and design advances continue to deliver new benefits for the buyer. But, how can the brand owners communicate these benefits in newspaper ads? LANCE CLATWORTHY benchmarks two recent executions.

In this Creative Benchmarking study, two advertisements for TV products have been tested – one from Samsung and one from Sony.

The verdict: strong imagery engages, but ensure the brand and product is easily discerned.

Sony Execution


Advertising the Sony 4K HDR TV, the execution features an attention-grabbing, futuristic image that invites closer inspection. Closer inspection reveals the image of a face that it is for the most part framed within a TV screen.

With a lead slogan of “Colour is the new black”, the copy then succinctly mentions the product benefits in two simple sentences. Sony branding is clear in the top right hand corner, while the 4K HDR model is also clearly referenced at the bottom of the creative.

Without a specific call to action, the creative does also include a website address for the product.

Samsung Execution


Advertising the Samsung Pure Curved screens, this creative has an image of a clean and simply furnished house. Part of that furniture is a tripod mounted Pure Curved screen, but the reader may well need to more fully engage in the ad to discern that it is a TV screen and indeed that the ad is for that TV.

At the top of the imagery, the lead text is “PURE” with a smaller reference to the Curved TV and the Samsung brand.

The creative heavily features text, with the small strap line “There is more to being pure than just being simple”. There is also a reference to the tripod stand together with some detail explaining the key benefits of performance, function and perfection.

Clearly more of a call-to-action ad, the reader also sees text on the TV models, the specifications, the tripod stands and the prices. While at the foot of the ad, one can see Harvey Norman and Domayne both in larger text than for Samsung. The stores’ website addresses and 1800 numbers are also referenced.

Strategic RoleMap

Six strategic advertising roles of newspapers have been validated both qualitatively and quantitatively by NewsMediaWorks, resulting in the creation of RoleMap. For more information on this map, click here.


Sony and Samsung ads significantly improved affinity with the brand. Agreeing that the ad gave them a good feeling about the brand, Sony (18%) and Samsung (17%) both doubled the average newspaper ad score of 9 percent.

“Sony produces quality products. This ad reflects that,” said one respondent.

“It’s a really innovative design for a TV,” said another respondent referring to the Samsung ad.


Newspapers are recognised as an effective medium for delivering a Call to Action. ActionMap, another proprietary newspaper metric, expands on this strategic role to provide an understanding of the types of action a newspaper ad inspires. For more information on ActionMap, click here.


Both brand ads performed around the norm for action oriented metrics. However, some metrics did emerge as better than the average for all newspaper ads.

Some 15 percent of respondents who viewed the Sony execution said they would look out for the brand after seeing this ad, while 18% said they would try to remember the ad for later.

And some 16 percent of those who viewed the Samsung creative said they would consider mentioning it to family or friends.

Brand Perceptions


While achieved through differing strengths, both ads raised Brand perceptions above the norm for all papers on each of our three key metrics.

Most significantly, Sony improved familiarity/understanding of the brand to 42% compared with a norm of 28%, while 44% said the ad made the brand seem different to other brands; this compared with a norm of 25%.

“It highlights 4K HDR TV as the future,” commented a respondent exposed to the Sony ad.

“It’s clever. It’s different from other manufacturers’ ads and Sony is a well known reputable brand,” said another.

“It makes me think that Samsung is very stylish,” commented a respondent exposed to that ad.

Creative Diagnostics

This NewsMediaWorks’ proprietary newspaper metric, provides a set of creative diagnostics unique to the attributes of newspaper advertising.  They’ve been developed to help identify areas for improvement where results across other brand and advertising measures may require further analysis and interrogation.


Of the two ads, Sony clearly stood out on positive perceptions of the ad creative, but in terms of “makes it easy to see what’s on offer”, both ads fell below the norm for all newspaper ads.

Sony’s imagery exceeded norms for “Has a great photo/image” while respondents also agreed the ad “catches my eye” and it “looks good”. These aspects would have encouraged further engagement to then communicate important features; a task the Sony creative achieved to norm.

“It invites me in to read the ad purely because of the image,” said one Sony respondent.

“It contains all the information you need and I would definitely have a look into the product,” said another.

And of those who were shown the Samsung ad, they did agree that the ad looked good, but it clearly made it difficult to understand what it was advertising. The ad was particularly judged as cluttered and having too much information.

“I only realised I was looking at a TV ad when I had another look – at first, I thought it was about furniture,” said a Samsung respondent.

“I was shown an ad for Harvey Norman,” said another.

But Samsung’s more extensive, call to action information did seem to work well among those that were interested enough to read it.

“There’s too much in the ad but it interests me,” said one.

“It describes the product very well and in a manner that most people will understand,” said another.



The Sony ad performed strongly on improved familiarity/understanding, making the brand seem different and building brand affinity. This was achieved through strong imagery which further engaged people in the ad despite the fact that it was not so easy to quickly discern that the ad was for a TV.

Actions taken largely performed to norm, but the ad performed well in prompting people try to remember the ad/product and to look out for it in store.


The Samsung creative delivered strong brand affinity, but compared with the norm for all newspaper ads, the ad failed to make it easy to see what was on offer. This call to action advertisement was considered too cluttered, but the information was valued by those who took an interest; it performed to norm on highlighting an important feature.

Actions taken largely performed to norm, but the ad performed well in potentially creating word-of-mouth.



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