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Simple and effective communication wins brand affinity

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LANCE CLATWORTHY benchmarks how a broadband plan and a new service have each used newspapers to communicate their benefits.

In this Creative Benchmarking study, two advertisements for telecommunications services have been tested – one from iiNet and one from Telstra.

The verdict: clean and simple communication of an offer can raise brand affinity

iiNet Execution


191096 iiNet Start running on NBNAdvertising iiNet’s NBN Broadband services, the execution features a large stopwatch with the lead slogan “Start running on NBN”. To the right, a man is clearly sprinting, presumably having had a good start.

Below the core imagery, the copy then succinctly mentions the key service benefits of 1000GB, Superfast and calls included at $79.99 a month. The ad doesn’t seem shy about the minimum 24 month contract price either.

iiNet branding is clear in the top right hand corner, where there is also the claim “the nbn experts”. iiNet’s red and orange colouring is themed through the creative.

The clear benefits and strongly featured price are accompanied by a call to action with the inclusion of a 13 number to call.


Telstra Execution


Advertising Telstra’s Smart Venues service, this creative has an image that tries to convey the excitement of being engaged in a major stadium – it features a man with his hands raised high above his head. Others are in the crowd around him as the stadium lights beam out across the pitch.

At the top left hand corner of the imagery, the lead text is “What if your seat was always the best seat in the house?” Small font then goes on to mention that “With Telstra Smart Venues it is”. The text then explains the service benefits – access to services such as traffic updates, social sharing, free wi-fi and pre-ordering half time snacks. “Thrive On” is the secondary tag line.

In terms of branding, Telstra’s logo is situated in the bottom right. The logo is small and, along with a branded spectrum, is also in a colour palette that rather blends in with the main imagery.

The ad features no call to action, website address or contact number.

Strategic RoleMap

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


The iiNet ad improved affinity with respondents agreeing that the ad gave them a good feeling about the brand. At 16 per cent, iiNet performed better than the average newspaper ad score of 9 per cent.

“iiNet ads are funny and smart” said one respondent.

Telstra performed largely to norm on role metrics, but with a score of 10 per cent, “gives me more information about the brand/service” was significantly below the average newspaper ad score of 25 per cent.

“I had to examine the ad closely to find out what it was about” said a respondent referring to the Telstra ad.


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.


Some 6 per cent of respondents who viewed the iiNet execution said they would make a phone call to find out more. For this ad, displaying a telephone number raised this metric above the norm of 2 per cent.

The iiNet ad also invoked some encouraging comments relating to other action metrics, although they predominantly performed in line with the average for all newspaper ads:-

  • “It looked good, was informative, and has prompted me to think about changing provider”
  • “Good pricing and it will make me compare with my current service provider”

Telstra also largely performed to norm on the action oriented metrics. However, only 1 per cent of those who viewed the creative said they would buy or try the service. This was below the norm of 6 per cent.


Brand Perceptions


On all three measures of brand perceptions, iiNet exceeded the norm for all newspapers.

Most significantly, iiNet improved familiarity/understanding of the brand to 40% compared with a norm of 28%, while 38% said the ad made the brand seem different to other brands; this compared with a norm of 25%.

“It was relevant to me,” said one respondent on seeing the iiNet ad.

“The ad offers a good deal,” said another.

The following Creative Diagnostics commentary includes several other comments that particularly illustrate the strong performance on improved familiarity/understanding for iiNet; namely the simple communication of key information.

Telstra performed to norm on “different to other brands” and “made the brand appropriate” but the ad did not improve familiarity/understanding (19 per cent) as well as the average for all newspaper ads (28 per cent).

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.


For creative diagnostics, iiNet performed largely to norm including the information related metrics and highlighting an important feature. However, when asked how they felt about the ad, respondents’ comments often related to these aspects and they were normally favourable:-

  • “The ad is easy to see, the information is there and clear to understand”
  • “I like ads that are clean and clear, which this one was. It stated the fact that NBN would be faster, which it illustrated well, and that the price charged was really good”
  •  “It is eye catching and gives most of the information on the brand”
  •  “I really liked the simplicity but it was still able to get across 3 key features”
  •  “$80 per month, and you get 1000GB NBN data with iiNet”

And of those who were shown the Telstra ad, they did agree that the ad looked good, but it clearly made it difficult to understand what it was advertising. 9 per cent agreed it made it easy to see what is on offer, compared with a norm of 32 per cent. The ad also underperformed on giving more information about the brand/service – a score of 10 per cent compares with an average of 25 per cent for all newspaper ads. The small font was mentioned by a number of respondents:-

  • “Great visual effect, great headline, discreet use of the company logo at the bottom of the page – and then you can’t read the small type”
  • “A great image but difficult to understand what it is about without reading it”
  •  “The advertisement is eye catching, but I have no idea what Smart Venues is”



The iiNet ad performed strongly on improved familiarity/understanding, making the brand appropriate and building brand affinity. This was achieved through clear and simple communication of the key benefits and the offer price.

Actions taken largely performed to norm, but the ad performed well in prompting people try to make a phone call to find out more.


The Telstra ad performed to norm on the majority of metrics. However, relative to norms, it did not make it easy to see what was on offer and was not seen as providing more information about the brand/service. The nature of the service, the ad’s communication and small font resulted in some confusion on what the ad was for.

In terms of action taken, there was a low incidence of those saying they would try the service.


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