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Success with print in the mix

ADRIAN FERNANDES uses three recent print campaigns to illustrate how government agencies have reached their target audiences with newspaper advertising.

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Government agencies regularly feature print advertising in their communications strategies to drive public awareness campaigns. No matter the topic, they’re sure to reach a large portion of their target audience because eight in 10 Australians read a print newspaper each month.

Three campaigns have been selected to demonstrate the reach of newspapers in this context. They come from:

Transport Accident Commission (TAC) in Victoria

Transport NSW; and

National Broadband Network (NBN Co)

Toward Zero road deaths in Victoria

The TAC has worked tirelessly for more than 25 years to lower road deaths through public awareness. Its latest campaign, “Toward Zero”, highlights the importance of safer drivers, safer cars and slower speeds.

This article on news.com.au provides a background into the campaign, showing how it has evolved in recent years. Last month, TAC looked to Victorian newspapers to raise awareness of the dangers of drink-driving as part of this campaign. The ad below appeared in Melbourne’s Herald Sun on October 3, 2015.


Below, a similar execution featured in the Victorian regional title, the Geelong Advertiser, on October 23.


The target audience is Victorian motorists who also drink alcohol. The emma data shows 71 per cent of this audience, or 2.6 million, read a print newspaper last month. Some 1.25 million Victorian drivers who drink alcohol will have picked up a copy of the Herald Sun in the past four weeks. Another 76,000 will have read the Geelong Advertiser in the same period.

For more on how newspaper media can help government agencies to positively influence behaviours and convey important information, like a road safety campaign, click here.

Just the ticket

The NSW Government’s Opal Card was launched with much fanfare in December 2012. The travel smartcard promised commuters an easy, convenient way of paying for travel on public transport.

The pay-as-you-go system has gradually grown in scale, replacing the traditional paper ticket across a number of commuter categories.

In January 2016, the pensioner excursion ticket will be replaced by a Gold Opal card. Transport NSW has been encouraging pensioners to sign up since May 2015, producing communications to inform seniors about how to make the switch.

This ad (below) appeared in the Illawara Mercury and Newcastle Herald, along with other NSW mastheads, in May 2015.


A different execution (below) with a similar message has been featured in metro newspapers in recent weeks.


Transport NSW will reach a significant number of its target audience through these print ads. Data from emma says 88 per cent of over 65s who travel on public transport read print newspapers. They are voracious readers with 46 per cent of those aged 65+ reading seven or more copies every week.

Digital relies on print

The National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout continues unabated and appears on track to make fast-internet available to more than 11 million homes by 2020.

The federal government agency, NBN Co., recently launched a multimedia campaign with agency BWM Dentsu to drive subscription numbers across the country. The advertisement (below) appeared in the NT News on the 16th of November 2016.


This execution appeared in the Illawarra Mercury on the same day.


NBN Co. has incorporated print advertising in its marketing mix, knowing it will reach most of its target market. Some 85 per cent of prospective buyers of internet services have read a print newspaper in the last month. That’s more than 11 million consumers, according to emma.

Some 1.3 million consumers are planning to upgrade to fast-internet in the coming months. Of these consumers, 76 per cent read a print newspaper.

To discover what readers thought of the NBN’s advertising in Phase 1 of its campaign, which launched in newspapers earlier this year, take a look at our ad effectiveness study, click here.



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