Advertising Effectiveness of Newspaper Sections
In a previous article (Newspaper Sectional Readership), we had pointed out that a newspaper contains multiple sections which are read by different types of people. Thus, the newspaper audience is not a homogeneous entity; rather, different people come to a newspaper for different purposes. If newspaper readership is a purposeful activity, one may infer that purposive advertisements will be effective when they are matched with reader interests. Indeed, when one opens up a newspapers, it is clear that the advertisements are often matched to the editorial content. We can rattle off numerous examples --- the movie section contains movie ads, the travel section contains travel ads, etc.
In this article, we will give a few examples from which we can infer advertising effectiveness. We will cite some data from the 2003 TGI Puerto Rico study. This is a survey of 2,296 persons age 12 to 64 years old who were interviewed in Puerto Rico during the year 2003. Our first example refers to the readership of the movie section of the newspapers. Overall, 30.1% of the survey respondents indicated that they read the movie section 'frequently.' In the chart below, we show the incidences of readership according to their frequency of movie attendance. As the frequency increases, the likelihood of reading also increases. This empirical observation does not imply any causal relationship. That is to say, we cannot say that reading about movies makes people go to those movies, although it might. Nor can we say that going to movies causes people to read the movie section in newspapers, although it might. But for a movie distributor, the movie section obviously has highly involved readers who go to movies often and account for a disproportionately large number of movie ticket sales.
(source: 2003 TGI Puerto Rico)
Our next example refers to the readership of the broadcast/cable television section in newspapers. Overall, 19.1% of the survey respondents indicated that they read the television section 'frequently.' In the chart below, we show the incidences of readership according to the average number of hours that they spend watching television per day. As the number of hours increased, the likelihood of reading also increases. Again, this empirical observation does not imply any causal relationships. That is to say, we cannot say that reading the television guide makes people watch television, although it might. Nor can we say that watching television causes people to read the television guide, although it might. But for a television programmer, the television guide obviously has highly involved readers who watch a lot of television and account for a disproportionately large share of the overall audience.
(source: 2003 TGI Puerto Rico)
Our last example refers to the readership of the arts & leisure section that covers music recordings and concerts. Overall, 31.3% of the survey respondents indicated that they read this section 'frequently.' Among those who have attended one or more music concert within the past 3 months, the incidences rises up to 53.8%. For a concert organizer, the arts & leisure section obviously has highly involved readers who account for a disproportionately large share of concert attendance.
In reality, these newspaper sections are quite complicated environments. On one side, the newspaper produces its own independent editorial material, such as reviews. Such materials may not necessarily be favorable to the advertisers, as in bad reviews. On the other side, there are advertisers which provide the details necessary to close the deal, such as the locations and show times. In between, there are even advertorials, or advertisements disguised as editorial material.
(posted by Roland Soong, 11/27/2003)
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