Creativity is the crunch

Felix Thomson

Content Executive

The Financial Services Forum

Effective newspaper advertising requires financial services companies to be more imaginative and respond to what customers want. Maureen Duffy highlights some of the preliminary findings of a major research project.
The Newspaper Marketing Agency was established in 2003 by the national newspapers to help advertisers and their agencies get the most out of the medium. Part of its remit is to undertake rigorous research to help advertisers engage their audience more effectively through newspaper advertising and, in the four years since its conception, has produced a significant body of work to this end.
In categories where the NMA has carried out consumer insight research together with in-market tests of the medium’s effectiveness, newspapers have seen a significant increase in their share of advertising revenue (see chart 1). For the medium to work to its full potential and reap a return, results of the NMA’s 20 effectiveness case studies have shown the value of strong creative. To get that creative to an optimum standard commensurate with the advertiser’s media investment, the NMA has demonstrated the need for newspaper campaigns to undergo creative pre-testing. Recognition scores for the NMA’s effectiveness test doubled once pre-testing was introduced.
Financial services research
A significant NMA project in 2007 is in the finance category. This will aim to rebuild the share of finance advertising into national newspapers – both print and online – by helping advertisers to understand better how to use the medium to its greatest effect. The project will involve significant category insight work together with in-market effectiveness tests. These tests will act as a follow up to those conducted in 2006 which examined the hypothesis that TV and newspaper advertising are the perfect, complementary partnership. For the first time, three major finance advertisers will take part in the study. Their campaigns will include brand TV ads with brand-led creative also running in national newspapers (both online and print versions) together with tactical newspaper advertising.
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