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Winning a Brand slam

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Strategic communications and creative planning can differentiate a brand from its competitors. A pre-requisite is a strong message that can be identified by potential customers with the personality traits of the brand itself.

ADvance, NewsMediaWorks’ creative benchmarking system, is designed to measure the performance of selected news media ads to gauge their impact on attitudes to brand, product or service.

It shows that with the right creative advertisers lift brand metrics and improve perceptions.

Building brand awareness

The best products won’t sell if no one knows they exist. News media reaches 93 per cent of consumers and 8.3 million shoppers read at least three newspapers each week. Some 70 per cent of adults also access journalism on a digital platform.

Online retailer Catch of the Day published an advertisement in the Daily Telegraph to promote free shipping to customers who spent $70 or more.

Results from ADvance indicate Catch of the Day successfully introduced their brand to a new group of consumers with this execution. One in four respondents (24%) said they were not aware of the brand before seeing the ad.

One in five said they would go online to visit the Catch of the Day site.

“I haven’t used this site so I’d be interested to see how it compares with Groupon, for example.”

Lifting brand affinity

When you achieve brand affinity, it means consumers have made an emotional connection with your brand.

Apple is a master at exploiting this type of affinity. Customers wait in line for hours for a new product. Many consumers won’t consider any other technology brand if Apple has a similar product because they aspire to a lifestyle that the brand represents.

The ad for the iPhone 6 appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald. It features a visual of the sea and sky taken on with the phone’s camera. The only other information is a subtle logo and a credit to the photographer.

The iPhone ad lifted respondent affinity with the brand, with 23 per cent of respondents saying it gave them a good feeling about Apple.

One respondent to our benchmarking survey said: “It’s a refreshing change from other ads, I really like the imagery and simplicity of the message.”

Some 56 per cent of respondents said the ad had a beautiful standout image that was in line with their expectations of what Apple produce.

“It’s calming and beautiful. It makes you think that the iPhone is more than just a phone.”

Differentiate yourself

Brand managers face a critical marketing dilemma as products and brands become increasingly interchangeable in the minds of a consumer. How can brand differentiation be achieved? How can a brand standout from the competition so shoppers will select it?

The focus of advertising messages is increasingly falling on product and brand differentiation.

News media advertising offers brands the environment, time and space to establish how different they are from competitors.

A BWS ad appeared in a number of News Corp newspapers, including the Herald Sun, Cairns Post, Geelong Advertiser and Gold Coast Bulletin. It follows a different creative direction than other BWS campaigns and strays away from the typical templated approach adopted by many retail brands.

The campaign significantly improved respondent attitudes to the BWS brand. One in two (48%) said the ad improved their familiarity with BWS while two in five said it differentiated from other bottle shop brands.

This campaign for health insurance company, ahm, appeared in metro newspapers across the country.

The creative is two-tone and designed to convince readers ahm’s policies are easy to understand.

The price is clear, the copy well-written and the call-to-action obvious but not over-stated. Such simple approaches resonate because it’s easy to understand.

Some 37 per cent of respondents to research on the effectiveness of this ad said it stood out from others in the same category.

Importance of relevance

Delivering sales is the goal of any advertising activity. Campaigns that lift brand salience are memorable, containing cues that trigger the minds of shoppers when they are ready to purchase. Brands can pull a range of levers to achieve this, from price to evocative headlines, compelling copy and beautiful imagery.

Coles is a long-time display advertiser and produces consistently powerful messages within its creative to drive action.

In our effective study of one of Coles’ ads, a third of respondents said the ad motivated them to buy, or tell others about the offers – that’s almost double the level of action generated by a typical print ad.



Some 32 per cent of respondents said they would go in-store to buy at least one of the products advertised. One-fifth said they would look out for the products advertised next time they shopped.

Staying with the food theme, 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.

Some 18 per cent of respondents who viewed the ad said they would buy the product next time they were in-store.

This article was originally published in The Works: Q2 2016 Report.

Follow the links below to read other sections in The Works Q2 Quarterly Report:

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