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Brand affinity flying high for newspaper advertisers

Showing how an industry can advertise in newspapers to target different markets and different objectives, LANCE CLATWORTHY examines how ads for Jetstar flights and Qantas Club membership have compared with benchmarks. The verdict: Jetstar’s price led ad was particularly successful in driving people to the website but also succeeded in growing brand equity. Qantas offered a…

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Showing how an industry can advertise in newspapers to target different markets and different objectives, LANCE CLATWORTHY examines how ads for Jetstar flights and Qantas Club membership have compared with benchmarks.

The verdict: Jetstar’s price led ad was particularly successful in driving people to the website but also succeeded in growing brand equity. Qantas offered a price discount, and performed well on some call to action metrics but the bigger success was in growing brand affiliation.


While some airlines compete primarily on price, the other more established airlines pay special attention to the quality of service as a way of differentiating themselves. This is illustrated by the two adverts we have benchmarked – although each of them did have a price related component.


Jetstar $189 Bali


Jetstar’s ad has bright imagery that takes up a generous amount of the space. Depicting three young people in the back of an open vehicle and set against a background of a palm lined beach, the imagery is primarily made up of vibrant blues.


The ad leads with “Start writing your ‘out of office’ email”. However, on a bright orange background, the larger stand out font is $189 (Bali), $283 (Phuket) and $323 (Honolulu). “Jetstar” is also prominent in the bottom right hand side.

Featuring the date that the offer ends, the ad has a cursor pointing to jetstar.com where the offers are available.

Qantas Club 40% off


Announcing a 90 hour sale of Qantas Club membership at a 40 per cent discount, the main imagery features two people chatting while sitting in an uncluttered environment.

The text tells us that members can enjoy being relaxed, refreshed and welcomed at the start of any journey and that the 3 day discount is available on 1, 2 and 4 year memberships.

In terms of branding, the advert heavily features the “Qantas red” while the brand name is mentioned 3 times including the Qantas Club logo. The imagery also features a Qantas brochure sitting on a table.

The ad’s call to action is to visit qantas.com/qantasclubjoin during the promotion period.

The small print informs us that the offer is not available for company related membership or for existing members. It is also noted that there is no mention of the price or of the discounted price of membership.

Strategic RoleMap

Six strategic advertising roles of newspapers have been validated both qualitatively and quantitatively by NewsMediaWorks, resulting in the creation of RoleMap. 


On the affinity metric, both ads performed significantly better than the average for all newspaper ads (9%). Jetstar doubled the norm with 18 per cent agreeing that the ad gives me a good feeling about the brand. But at three times the norm, this was the strongest metric for the Qantas Club ad (27%).

“Jetstar is a fairly new airline that is a fun and young type of airline,” commented one respondent.

“Promotion for Australia’s premier airline is loud and clear,” said a respondent who was shown the Qantas ad.

“Catches the attention as it’s a genuine discount for a premium service,” said another.

Both ads performed largely to norm on other strategic metrics.


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. 



Both ads recorded some strong performances on the action metrics, but Jetstar was the most effective with an impressive 1 in 3 (29%) saying they would search online for more information. This compares with an average of 10 per cent for all newspaper ads and the 16 per cent achieved by Qantas.

“We will definitely visit the site because we think that is in our budget,” said a Jetstar respondent.

“It is definitely something I would look into depending on the price,” was said of the Qantas ad.

Furthermore, although relating to less than 10 per cent of respondents, both ads significantly outperformed the benchmark average for making a phone call, sharing the information online and tearing out the ad to keep.

“It stands out and makes me want to go on holidays,” mentioned one respondent upon seeing the Jetstar ad.

“It encourages me to look it up or tear it out for later,” said a Qantas respondent.

Brand Perceptions


Both ads performed strongly on the three metrics for brand equity. The chart above shows how they performed similarly well on the metrics of brand appropriate and seems different. However, for improved familiarity/understanding, only Jetstar (46%) was significantly above the norm.

“Makes me feel as though Jetstar is an affordable airline,” said one respondent suggesting he had an understanding of the Jetstar brand.

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.



Looking at the creative diagnostics, both ads performed significantly above benchmark on grabbing attention, while Jetstar had strong imagery and Qantas made it easy to see what was on offer.

Compared with an all newspaper average of 20 per cent, Jetstar (40%) and Qantas (34%) performed strongly on “Looks good”. Similarly, against a benchmark of 17 per cent, Jetstar (30%) and Qantas (33%) also performed well on “Made me stop and want to read more”.

“Very informative, pleasing and very appealing,” commented a Jetstar respondent.

In terms of significantly outperforming the benchmark, Jetstar also scored strongly on “Great photo/image” (44%) and “Catches my eye” (35%). While Qantas also performed strongly on “Easy to see what’s on offer” (45%).

“It sells a life style with imagery,” was said of Jetstar.

“Sunlight, laughter, bright colours, sense of adventure,” commented another.

“The colour and the picture were very eye catching,” was also said of Jetstar.

“Simple and to the point – it’s very clear what is on offer,” commented a Qantas respondent.

“Eye-catching and the red makes it stand out against other ads,” said another.

Both ads performed largely to benchmark on other creative diagnostics, but at 6 per cent, Jetstar was significantly lower than the average for “Looks dull and boring” – they liked the creative.

Qantas did not score significantly below norm on any of the ADvance metrics, but it should be noted that a number of people did comment on the fact that neither the full price nor the discounted membership prices were displayed; they didn’t appear in the small print either.

“It didn’t mention how much it cost – that suggests it is very expensive,” said one Qantas respondent.

“It doesn’t inform you as to what you may receive for Qantas Club membership and at what cost,” said another.

“It’s interesting but I would like to understand what it would cost.”



Jetstar $189 Bali

A price led ad that also built the brand – The advertisement had a strong call to action that delivered especially well on prompting readers to find out more at the website, also encouraging people to share the information more than the average for all newspaper ads. But a good value offer coupled with young, bright and adventurous imagery also delivered well on all three brand equity metrics for Jetstar.

Qantas Club 40% off

A successful advertisement, performing especially well on brand related metrics including “good feeling about the brand”. The creative also scored well on communicating the offer. In terms of call to action, the target market may have been smaller than that for the Jetstar ad, but even more readers said they would tear out and keep the ad. It also performed above benchmark on sharing the information.



  1. Research conducted online by Ipsos Media CT. Fieldwork conducted May 2017. Sample aged 18+, based in Sydney, n = 103 for Qantas ; based in Melbourne n=102 for Jetstar. Significance tests conducted at 90% confidence level. Full details of methodology, Role Map and Action Map available on www.newsmediaworks.com.au.
  2. Ads sourced from Savvy Media Monitoring (www.savvymm.com).
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