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How less can be more

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Advertising their NBN services, LANCE CLATWORTHY examines how ads for a Telstra bundle and Internode broadband each compared with benchmarks.

The verdict: Telstra succeeded in communicating an offer of some complexity, but to a somewhat limited target market.  Addressing a broader market, Internode’s ad performed better – simple communication of the offer prompted searching for more information.



Telstra’s ad pictures a family enjoying Telstra’s TV, broadband and entertainment services together.

The ad leads with “Bags of data. Bags of entertainment. Bags the remote”, then stating the proposition of “1000GB + Telstra TV for $99/mth on NBN.”

The ad then lists 5 benefits of 1000GB and Telstra TV – one of the benefits being unlimited calls within Australia.

Apart from the mentions of Telstra TV, the ad has minimal branding with a small Telstra icon on the bottom right hand side.

In terms of calls to action, the ad suggests that the reader visits their local Telstra store or the website. There is no displayed telephone number to dial.

Stream 1 Ad 1 (Telstra) Stand alone


The Internode ad features a bearded man settled into a chair as he enjoys the benefits of unlimited data. It simply states “Unlimited NBN data $69.99/month – no lock in contract”.

Branding is more prominent than it was for the Telstra advertisement and there is also an icon boasting Internode’s position as the number 1 broadband service provider when it comes to customer satisfaction

A 13 number is provided as a call to action.

Stream 2 Ad 1 (Internode) Stand alone


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 of “gives me a good feeling about the brand”, Telstra (15%) and Internode (16%) both performed better than the average for all newspaper ads (9%). However, on the Strategic role map, the most significant over performance was for Internode “encourages me to think differently” (20%) and “gives me more information about the brand” (37%).

“It had enough information to spark my interest,” said one respondent regarding the Internode ad.

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. 



The metric that most distinguished Internode’s campaign was that 25 per cent said they would search online for more information. This compares to a norm of 10 per cent across all newspaper ads and the 16 per cent achieved by Telstra’s ad.

While both ads significantly outperformed the norm for “making a phone call to find out more” and “tearing out the ad to keep”, Internode also performed significantly better on “share the information online.”

“I would be interested in taking internet out with them,” commented one about Internode.

“Makes me interested in comparing my current internet plan to the one advertised – it seems simple to change internet providers,” said another in relation to the Telstra ad.

Brand Perceptions


Both ads performed strongly on the three metrics for brand equity. The chart above shows that Telstra performed significantly above the norm on familiarity/understanding, appropriate and different. Internode was every bit as strong on these metrics too.

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.



While Telstra performed largely to benchmark averages on the creative diagnostic metrics, Internode displayed some significant differences.  It’s important to have good imagery to capture attention and tempt readers into reading more of the ad. However, Internode is an example of an ad that achieved success despite underperforming on “a great photo/image”. Respondent comments suggest that the imagery may be strong but not favourably so:-

“The gentleman in the advert is hardly inspiring and looks much like a couch potato – hardly the image I would want to portray,” said one respondent talking about the Internode ad.

Then on the positive side, “gives me more information about the brand” has a benchmark average of 25 per cent compared to Internode which achieved 37 per cent. Furthermore, “encourages me to think differently about the brand” was at 20 per cent compared with an average of 8 per cent.

Remaining on the positive side, we can also see the three metrics that held the key to success for the Internode creative. The following all performed significantly above norm:-

  • 29% Headline made me want to stop and read more
  • 44% Makes it easy to see what’s on offer
  • 38% Highlights an important feature



In a more limited market than the Internode service offer, Telstra succeeded in communicating an offer of some complexity. Telstra performed significantly above norm on the 3 brand equity metrics of familiarity/understanding, appropriate and different. On other metrics, the execution performed to norm, but was above norm for the action metrics of making a call to find out more and tearing out the ad.


Simple communication of the offer prompted further search. Internode performed significantly above benchmark for a number of metrics including “gives more information” and “makes it easy to see what’s on offer”. This encouraged people to think differently about the brand. The ad also outperformed norms on the action metrics of sharing the information, tearing out the ad and, most significantly, searching for more information.


  1. Research conducted online by Ipsos Media CT. Fieldwork conducted September 2017. Sample aged 18+, based in Sydney, n = 10 for Telstra ; based in Melbourne n=104 for Internode. 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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