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Finding the perfect Mother’s or Father’s Day gift

Keen to extract learnings for upcoming Father’s Day ad campaigns, LANCE CLATWORTHY looks at two print ads that tackled the task of appealing to shoppers seeking that special Mother’s Day present – many of them men. In this Creative Benchmarking study, we have tested a Mother’s Day ad for Harvey Norman and one for Myer. The…

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Keen to extract learnings for upcoming Father’s Day ad campaigns, LANCE CLATWORTHY looks at two print ads that tackled the task of appealing to shoppers seeking that special Mother’s Day present – many of them men.

In this Creative Benchmarking study, we have tested a Mother’s Day ad for Harvey Norman and one for Myer.

The verdict: Both ads performed well on brand affinity and call to action metrics, but Myer wins the day by prompting visits to the store.


Harvey Norman

Stream 1 Ad 2 (Harvey Norman) Stand-alone

The Harvey Norman ad leads with the line “It’s all for your Mum”. Advertising a Kenwood Mixer ($799), Toaster ($199) and Kettle ($169) the reader is offered a bonus mixer attachment on purchase of that high cost item.

The imagery features a lady surrounded by the products and using the food mixer in a modern yet rustic kitchen setting – a “to die for” cake already made.

The lower part of the ad sees a 6 step recipe for a “Sparkling Rose and Vanilla Naked Cake” alongside a picture of the end result.

The Harvey Norman logo is at the foot of the advertisement alongside the chain’s web address and a 1300 number to call as an alternative. There is also quick acknowledgement that the offer ends on 14th May 2017 which was Mother’s Day.


Stream 2 Ad 3 (Myer) Stand-alone

The Myer ad has several messages of similar profile. “Mum knows best – ask one of ours” is arguably the lead, but the ad also communicates “..Mother’s Day is this Sunday” and “Top ideas for your Mum”.

The three pictured ideas relate to a pyjama set, a perfume and a Myer gift card. However, in shades of pink, the more dominant part of the ad relates to 30% OFF scarves and hats, for example. Similar discounts are offered on 3 other ranges (sleepwear, handbags and watches/jewellery).

The foot of the ad displays the Myer logo.

Strategic RoleMap

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



In terms of Strategic role, each ad performed favourably against benchmark on a number of metrics, but the only significant over-performance was on brand affinity – 21 per cent agreed that the Harvey Norman ad gave them a good feeling about the brand, whereas 19 per cent said the same of the Myer ad. This compares with a benchmark of 9 per cent as an average for all newspaper ads.

“The Myer ad is classy, just like the store,” said one respondent on viewing the advertisement.

On a gender basis, women got a good feeling about both the Harvey Norman brand and the Myer brand. The Myer ad is also rated more highly by women for giving more information about the brand and for giving a reason to buy/find out more for later.


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 had some similar wins on call to action metrics with the exception of prompting a store visit. Compared to a benchmark of 10 per cent, 21 per cent of respondents said that the Myer ad would make them visit a store or look out for the brand/product. Both ads (Harvey Norman, Myer) outperformed the norm on tearing out the ad (12%, 12%), making a phone call to find out more (10%, 6%) and sharing the information online (5%, 8%).

“The ad would make me want to go to a Myer store and look at the product on sale,” said one respondent.

“I would go to the store and check out the appliances,” said another of the Harvey Norman ad.

In terms of responses by gender, more men were likely to mention the Harvey Norman ad to a friend or family; for the Myer ad significantly more women were likely to remember the ad/brand for later whereas more men would search for information online.

Brand Perceptions


Both ads performed well on brand perceptions, most significantly on making the brand appropriate. Compared to a benchmark of 25 per cent, Harvey Norman (37%) and Myer (40%) both outperformed on this latter metric. Harvey Norman performed favourably on making the brand seem different.

Looking at the responses by gender, the strong performance on familiarity/understanding was driven by men for the Harvey Norman mixer ad but by women for the Myer ad. Women were also particularly likely to say that the Myer ad made the brand appear more appropriate.

“Myer is really good and has good products,” said one respondent.

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.



Both ads performed largely to benchmark on the creative diagnostics, but again it’s the Myer ad that performs better for women on a number of metrics – making it easy to see what’s on offer and catches the eye.

“The ad is simple and clear; I liked it,” said one respondent of the Harvey Norman ad.

“It was an interesting way of promoting products and made me want to take another look,” was also said with references to the recipe.

“The ad is very good, attractive and informative,” said another of the Myer ad.

“Lacks real price information – a percentage off is meaningless without the starting price,” said another referring to the Myer ad.



Harvey Norman

Harvey Norman’s Kenwood ad performed largely to benchmark, but exceeded the average on the action metrics of tearing out the ad, making a phone call to find out more and sharing the information online. The ad also performed well on generating brand affinity – feeling good about the brand and making the brand appropriate.  Although the mixer came with a bonus gift, these gains were achieved at full price with no advertised discount.


Myer Gift ideas included mention of sale discounts on 4 different product categories. The ad performed particularly well on the action metrics, significantly outperforming the benchmarks for tearing out, sharing the information online and mentioning the ad to a friend/family – most notably it distinguished itself by prompting men and women to visit a store. The ad also performed well on the same affinity metrics as the Harvey Norman ad – feeling good about the brand and making the brand appropriate.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day campaigns raise the question about who the advertiser’s target audience should be. For Mother’s Day, we might assume that the key target is men buying a gift for their partner, but this benchmarking has shown Myer to have been the most successful ad – an ad that appealed more to women. May be Mother’s Day ads are better targeted at women with the intention that they then drop the hints about what they’d like to be receiving. Perhaps Father’s Day campaigns would best target men with the intention that they then voice the gift that would make their day.


ADvance research conducted online by IPSOS Media CT. Fieldwork conducted May 2017. Sample aged 18+, based in Sydney with n=103 for Harvey Norman ; based in Melbourne with n=101 for Myer.


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