Study: TV, Mags Ads More Effective Than Online Ones

A new study—by media researcher McPheters & Co. and in cooperation with Condé Nast and CBS Vision—found, perhaps not surprisingly, that when it comes to ad effectiveness, TV and magazine ads trump Internet ads.
The findings come at a time of continued high anxiety for print and TV media, with marketers reducing spending and shifting those reduced budgets to the Web.
Like other cross-media studies that have come before it, the McPheters research compared ad recall across media (in this case, 30-second TV ads; full-page, four-color magazine ads; and standard-sized Internet banner ads.) Respondents were given a choice of watching TV, reading a magazine or surfing the Internet for 30 minutes, and at the end, filled out surveys asking if they recalled the ads they saw.
While the study may not break new ground, it is somewhat unusual in its use of eye-tracking software to determine if respondents saw the Internet ads.
Among the major findings: Magazines delivered more than twice as many ad impressions as TV and more than six times those delivered online in the half-hour period; recall of TV ads was almost twice that of magazine ads; and magazine ad recall was almost three times that of Internet banner ads.
Scott McDonald, senior vp of research for Condé Nast, said the study indicates that time spent with a medium doesn’t translate into value for advertisers and that magazines’ effectiveness is undervalued; while Rebecca McPheters, CEO of McPheters & Co., said the research also shows that more work is needed to develop online ads that engage Internet users.
Brad Adgate, senior vp of research for Horizon Media, who was not involved in the research, said that while not earth-shattering, the findings could serve to reinforce the value of print and TV. “There’s a lot of concern about what impact the current economy is having on print vehicles,” he said. “It’s just another example that print is a viable medium in today’s digital media landscape–people still pay attention to the ads.”

Publish date: April 1, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT