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Print Media Magazines

Hearst, Bauer and more unite for campaign to show media buyers the value of print


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

February 7, 2019 | 5 min read

Hearst, Bauer Media Group, Radio Times, Woman & Home, Cyclist and Time Out group have united to run a joint marketing campaign in print which talks up the power of the medium to advertisers and media buyers.


Magnetic unites magazines in campaign getting media buyers to repraise the value of print

The drive, organized by Magnetic, the marketing body for consumer magazines, looks to communicate to media buyers the value of print and its effectiveness at long-term brand building.

Collectively, the magazine houses have gathered to shout out about the prowess of the medium as ad revenues drip towards digital solutions.

The campaign will also leverage print space to speak to influence advertisers and challenge their perceptions. Special issues of Cosmopolitan, Empire and Grazia, Radio Times, Woman & Home, Cyclist and Time Out will land on the desks of media agencies and clients this week, carrying specialised ads (pictured above).

Adding teeth to the drive, was the release from media shop PHD and Magnetic, The Pay Attention report, which found that there is a “gap between evidence and perception” of magazine advertising effectiveness; something it will now look to redress.

Sue Todd, chief executive of Magnetic, said: "This is the first time the magazine industry has come together under one message, so we wanted it to be attention-grabbing.

"There has been an increasing disconnect between the body of evidence that shows the effectiveness of magazines and the perceptions of their role on the plan within agencies. This campaign shows the unique benefits of magazine media; trusted, relevant and positive environments in which readers pay attention to the content and most importantly, the advertising.”

Cover wrap

Why magazines?

Magnetic's research looked to answer the question: ‘why should advertisers and agencies invest in magazines?’ And argued the strengths of mags, that they provide: “A positive content and advertising experience, a relevant context that enhances receptivity to advertising and a highly trusted environment."

It found that magazines and newspapers offered the third-highest ROI behind TV and radio, nonetheless, buyers, when asked their opinions, ranked newspapers eighth and ninth respectively, below online video, direct mail and out of home.

The data found that magazines were particularly effective at driving long-term effects for brands, chiefly sale gain, market share gain and customer acquisition gain. Customer acquisition was 161% higher than campaigns that did not include magazines. Sales uplifted by 23% and market share by 74%.

It said magazines “better facilitate brand discovery, [and] offer an alternative to the precision point targeting” on digital platforms. It also boasted a 30% uplift on brand activation effects.

It claimed that ad attention is in decline, saying that mobile users check their devices an average of 150-times a day. It noted: “Attention is a finite resource, put simply there are only so many hours in the day. Attention strategies that are based on the premise of interruption, capitalising on low-quality attention and maximising reach could prove problematic for the long-term health of advertising.”

Outlining the numerous types of attention that exist, it noted that there must be a higher emphasis put on the higher attention afforded by focused experiences like cinema and print media. 87% of cinema-goers admitted that they are fully focused on the medium, 60% of newspaper readers and then 58% of mag readers followed. This dropped to 52% on websites, 35% on social, 30% on TV, 20% on out of home and 11% on commercial radio.

Most favourably to print media, 57% of readers said that magazine advertising is part of the experience, the highest score for any channel. Cinema came in at 55% then newspapers and commercial radio at 47%. This was followed by TV (44%), and digital display (on websites) and social tied at 27%. Magazines performed best for ad context and relevancy too.

The 2016 report, Metrics that Matter, found that magazines were the top medium for ‘driving brand relevancy’. It rationalised: “Magazine content is largely orientated to consumer interests, be that fashion or football, television or travel so relevancy is at the core of magazines.”

The campaign featured print and digital creative from D.Studio.

Advocating for print in the work is Gavin Sheppard, chief marketing officer of Smart Energy; Pippa Glucklich, chief executive of Amplify UK, Dino Myers-Lamptey managing director of MullenLowe Mediahub, Tom George, chief executive of Group M, Mike Florence, chief strategy officer of PHD, Jenny Biggam, founder of The7stars and Ann Steer, chief marketing officer of N Brown Group.

They push sees them each explain what attention means to them in work carrying the ‘I Pay Less for More Attention’ strapline.

The work will start running in print from February 2019.

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