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Combine regionals and TV for rounded campaign

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NEWSPAPERS and TV are the two most powerful media channels in regional Australia. In this chapter of our Think Local series, we highlight case studies and best practice of how media agencies and advertisers have produced effective ad campaigns by combining the two media.

In the regions or suburban Australia, time and again studies show how local newspapers add a powerful dimension to TV-heavy campaigns and deliver for the advertiser a more rounded communications plan and an enhanced return on investment.

Local TV ads create awareness by reaching a mass audience but they do not necessarily deliver the optimum result. By combining regional, or city-based community newspapers, advertisers extract the best from both channels.

It takes two

Research shows that putting most, or even all, of a marketing budget into one medium is efficient but not effective. The law of diminishing returns states that, as more money is invested in a particular medium, the number of people reached will grow at a diminishing rate1.


There’s a certain level at which advertisers optimise spend by reducing the amount invested in a single medium and reallocating it to a second channel.

The effectiveness of a TV ad is shown to decrease by 50 percent over a two-week period and by 75 percent over a month. Around this time, an advertiser should consider reinvigorating a campaign by using regional and community newspaper ads2.

Local newspapers build on the awareness created by the initial TV campaign and add extra reach.

TV or not TV? That is the question.

Advertisers who rely heavily on TV are likely to miss a high number of potential customers. Why? Not everyone watches TV.

STANDOUT: Some 30 percent of regional and urban inhabitants are non- or light-TV watchers3.

One in four regional Australians describe themselves as non- or light- TV viewers. This figure is even higher in the suburbs with 35 percent saying they watch little to no TV4.

Strong readership levels of local newspapers mean regional and community titles offer a viable path to consumers missed by local TV.

emma data shows that advertising in regional newspapers can grow the reach of a TV campaign by up to 10 percent. Community titles can add an extra 12 percent5.


Double impact

Adding reach isn’t the main benefit of combining local newspapers and TV. The significant crossover audiences between local newspapers and TV provide a perfect opportunity for advertisers to support TVC’s with print ads and extend the life of a campaign. According to emma, regional newspapers are read by 28 percent of medium/heavy TV viewers and community newspapers are read by 31 percent of medium/heavy TV viewers8.

Using print creative containing brand icons, repetition of familiar imagery, mnemonics, spokespeople, characters, icons or creative style can significantly improve recall reinforce recall.

Case Study: Sunshine Coast Daily Builds on TV9

The Sunshine Coast offers brands a large consumer base with a population of 255,000 aged 14+. The area provides a great example of how brands can combine local TV with newspapers to optimise the reach of a local marketing campaign.

Some 36 percent of residents say they regularly watch free-to-air. That’s a strong base to grow awareness of a brand. It also matches the average monthly readership of The Sunshine Coast Daily (36%).

A deeper dive into emma data shows 42 percent of regular free-to-air viewers also read The Sunshine Coast Daily. That presents an opportunity for advertisers to build and support TV ads with print creative.

emma data also shows that an ad in The Sunshine Coast can add reach to the TV campaign because 25 percent of local residents who never or rarely watch commercial TV read or buy their local newspaper.

Local Newspapers + TV = A Rounded Campaign

Advocates of the mixed media approach hold that TV and print advertising combine well to provide richer, more rounded communication10. Local advertisers can benefit from the strengths of both platforms.

Creating awareness is TV’s strength

While print ads give detail and depth to a marketing message, a strength of TV is the ability to create awareness. Many regional TV buyers, for example, will also take advantage of low production costs, and some like to see themselves on the TV. That is a powerful motivator but what they often neglect is their personal notoriety would be handsomely extended by newspapers.

Local newspapers deliver information

Newspapers offer advertisers extraordinary flexibility to tailor messages for local markets by placing advertising tactically in local newspapers. This is a great attraction for retailers who are launching a new shop, outlet or wish to push certain products lines and discounts in a local area.

Mastheads offer additional depth by providing consumers with a level of information not possible to achieve with a 30 second commercial. Readers can take in important information like store location, opening hours, telephone number website, product sales and others in one execution.

“Adoption Drive” was a campaign, from Starcom and PEDIGREE, aimed to reduce the number of dogs being euthanized in Australia11.

Research suggests shelter dogs are seen as damaged goods . . . but media agency Starcom and pet food manufacturer Pedigree knew that wasn’t the case – and decided to change perceptions. They believed that telling the life stories of these lovable hounds would win hearts and change perceptions. So, Pedigree produced a campaign that would use these stories to help save shelter dogs.

The location was Far North Queensland, and the Pedigree/Starcom partnership deployed the power of the Cairns Post, owned by News Corp Australia, and Fairfax Media’s successful national rural title, The Land, to prosecute their message. First of all, Starcom implemented a strategy in which a TV campaign created awareness and emotion, and then strengthened the campaign with newspaper advertising.


Starcom introduced newspaper ads midway through the campaign. Print content contained more detailed information on the drive and featured prominent call-to-action queues around adoption.


The number of dogs in shelter homes in Far North Queensland hit its lowest-ever level with some shelters running out of adoptees and starting a waiting list of potential owners. Plus:

  • 3,365 dogs were rescued; and
  • $170,000 was raised for the cause.

According to TNS tracking, awareness of the Pedigree Adoption Drive reached 32 percent of the local population, and 54 percent said they had a more favourable opinion of the Pedigree brand.

1. Fasse, John and Hiddleston, Nick (June 2002). Multi-media Optimizing Optimistics. ESOMAR2.
2. http://www.newsmediaworks.com.au/reach-matters/
3,4,5,6,7,8,9 emma, 12 months to November 2014.
11. Cannon, Kayla, PetRescue: The PEDIGREE adoption drive (June 2012). WARC

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