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Feast for the eyes

Otway Pork’s print campaign delivers mouth-watering results while Tassal Salmon’s execution had one ingredient too many writes ADRIAN FERNANDES

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  • Ads researched shows they create brand awareness for food products
  • Quality food photos increases purchase intention; and
  • Over-written ad copy reduces effectiveness


The competitive environment is fierce for food companies. Creating a strong brand identity and growing the customer base is vital but with so many competitors, attracting attention has never been more challenging.ADVANCE_OTWAY PORK AND TASSAL_DIGITAL

Print advertising has been used to cut through the marketing white noise by local food companies Otway Pork and Tassal Tasmanian Salmon to lift brand awareness and sales.

Their executions are similar yet research by The Newspaper Works, which has gauged reader response to each of the advertisements, shows Otway Pork’s campaign produced the better ad-effectiveness.

A close inspection of the results, determined by our proprietary methodology ADvance, shows why.

The Creatives

This ad for Otway Pork was published in The Sunday Age on July 19, 2015


This ad for Tassal Tasmanian Salmon appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald on the March 31, 2015.


Both ads use mouth-watering images of their respective products.

Otway Pork kept ad content to a minimum. The stand-out image is supported by a snappy headline, minimal copy, a logo promoting the brand’s free range policy and a prominent company logo.

The Tassal execution contains substantially more content. The Tasmanian brand’s ad also features a detailed recipe, a packaged product image, social media call-to-actions and a wordy headline.

Ad-effectiveness for both executions was tested with more than 300 consumers and the results analysed using ADvance,  the ad-testing measurement tool.

Brand Perceptions

Both ads excelled in lifting awareness and driving brand positivity.


Across the board, both the Otway Pork and Tassal Salmon executions significantly outscored the average print ad in lifting brand scores.

Half of the respondents (51%) said the Otway Pork ad improved their awareness of the brand and 48 per cent said the same of Tassal’s ad.

“Never heard of Otway Pork before, so it brought the brand to my attention.”

Both ads successfully differentiated the two brands from competitors (51% for Otway Pork, 48% for Tassal Salmon).

Some 49 per cent who viewed the Otway Pork ad and 46 per cent who viewed the Tassal ad said the execution made the brands more appealing to them.

Creative Diagnostics


Respondents rated both executions in terms of their aesthetic appeal.

The Otway Pork ad scored well above the average newspaper ad across a range of creative diagnostic metrics.

Some 53 per cent said Otway’s ad had a great image. That’s 23 per cent more than the average print ad score.

“It’s a nice simple picture which looks yummy and makes me wanting to read a little bit more of the ad.”

Some 36 per cent said the ad highlighted an important feature of the product. Many warmed to the product based on Otway’s ethical treatment of its livestock.

“To me, the ad says Otway Pork treat their pigs ethically and the end product is delicious.”

More than a third of respondents (36 per cent) said the ad was eye-catching.

The Tassal Salmon ad also produced great creative diagnostic scores. Two in five said the ad had a great image. Some 39 per cent said it caught the eye.

“I really like the pictures in the ad, the salmon looks so delicious, and I really want to buy it when I see it at the supermarket.”

Respondents reacted negatively to the amount of content included in the Tassal ad. One in four (26%) said the ad had too much information. Some 20 per cent of respondents said the execution was cluttered.

“It’s not that obvious what the ad is about. Too much information and the recipe seems complicated. The picture is nice though”

The Action Map

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.


Respondents were asked what actions they would take after viewing these ads. Some 13 per cent who viewed the Tassal ad said they would cut out and keep the recipe.

“Great idea to include the recipe, although it is a bit wordy.”

Some 18 per cent of respondents who viewed the Otway Pork ad said they would buy the product, twice the number who said they would buy Tassal Salmon (9%).

“The Otway ad has that mouth-watering appeal, like you want to go and cook this pork roast after seeing the ad.”

Results indicate Tassal could increase ad effectiveness by thinning out its ad copy, shortening the headline and dialling down other product information to give the main product image more attention.

I really like the pictures in the Tassal ad, the salmon looks so delicious and now I really want to buy it when I see it at the supermarket.”

Strategic RoleMap

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


Both ads successfully encouraged positive appraisal and encouraged brand affinity.

One in four respondents said the Tassal ad gave them a good feeling about the brand, with 29 per cent saying the same of the Otway Pork creative.

One in five respondents (18% for each ad) said they would now think differently about the brands advertised. Some 23 per cent said they learned fresh information about Otway Pork and Tassal Salmon.


Otway Pork

Otway Pork let its product do the talking and readers loved it. The combination of mouth-watering imagery, a clever headline and minimal copy resulted in significant increases brand awareness and intentions to buy. Readers also responded well to the brand’s ethical treatment of animals which differentiated Otway from competitors.

Tassal Salmon

Respondents reacted well to the execution imagery, which helped drive positive brand equity scores. However, overall impact of the ad was lessened by the volume of content included. Dialling down the ad copy and increasing attention on product imagery could significantly improve ad effectiveness for Tassal.

Insights to help advertisers deliver print ads that work

Better Ads by Design, a five-part insights series, helps advertisers produce print ads that work. Based on rigorous analysis of 1400 ad effectiveness surveys, we examine the five creative elements that boost sales.

Download the full series here, or view online here.



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