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Brand is back: why magazine media makes the perfect partner

  • Date:

    19 July 2023

Brand is back: why magazine media makes the perfect partner

Following the recent report from Enders Analysis ‘The Measure of Value: Brand Advertising in the Balance’, customer strategy and insight specialist Amanda Wigginton looks at the need for advertisers to balance brand building with activation advertising, and how magazine media can help achieve better financial return. 

Correct the balance now

The report shows that brand advertising accounted for 37% of advertising spend in 2022. In 2000 it was 63%. Enders indicate this decline is a result of a shift to activation focused campaigns, driven by online advertising, budget pressures, need for efficiency, and the need to show an immediate short term return.  

Enders argues that now is the time for marketing departments to make the case for greater spending on brand advertising, and that advertisers should resist the pressure to spend even more on activation. Advertisers who invest more and rebalance to brand advertising can gain a long term competitive advantage.

Brand advertising drives long term profitability 

The report reminds us that brand advertising works by building up memories and associations for consumers by building awareness, purchase intent, and price premiums that translates into competitive advantage and long-term profitability for advertisers. 

Mounting evidence in the report suggests a focus on quick returns and cheap media is damaging marketing effectiveness. Focus needs to be on return-on-Investment, brand equity and consumer satisfaction.  

Five reasons why magazine media is essential to your brand building campaigns

  1. Passionate audiences are engaged audiences
    Passions and past times are part of who people are, their identity, and magazine media help them live and enjoy their passions every day. As a result, the advertising they see when consuming the content is not ignored and very much a positive part of the experience. 

1 in 2 magazine consumers want to see ads as much as other content when it comes to their passions and two thirds really love it when advertising taps into their passions. If you’re reading Runners World, you can’t help but study every trainer advert. If you’re immersed in Grazia, the latest must-have handbag is going to catch your eye. A new kitchen gadget featured in BBC Good Food will make you stop and look. This drives attention and 58% are more likely to notice an ad in a magazine brand related to their passion than anywhere else.

2. Active attention
Creating attention for any campaign is central to brand advertising, and magazine media provides the perfect formula for receptivity: a relaxed state of mind + a lean forward media + close connection to content.

Consumers of magazine media are more open to messages about advertising and brands because 58% give them their undivided attention and because 93% consider reading magazines in print or online is time well spent. 

This powerful formula translates online too. Magazine media content generates twice the attention of other digital formats. 

3. Trust matters 
Trust in magazine media should not be underrated at a time when overall levels of trust in media and advertising are at their lowest. 91% of print and digital readers trust magazines.  

Research from Kantar also shows that adverts in printed magazines and on Live TV are the most trusted channels – significantly ahead of other media. Whilst Live TV tops the table with an index of 190, print magazines come in second at an index of 155.  

Trust matters because it builds consumers confidence about buying advertised or featured products – 3 out of 4 magazine readers who see an ad take action.

4. Premium context enhances attention
Magazine media campaigns perform better than other channels on the relevance of the advertising – and relevance is a key driver of a brand KPIs. 57% of adults say ads in magazines fit well with the content, more than other media.  

At the heart of the reason for this is the immersive nature of the relationship that readers have with magazine media. Ads in relevant contexts get 40% more share of attention and are looked at for 38% longer.

Context matters online too. Ads on premium content sites result in nearly three times more attention.

5. Proven return on investment
The value of magazine media is often underestimated by marketers. Campaigns that include magazines drive significantly better sales and customer acquisition results than those without. Research shows that 5% investment in magazines will deliver on average 90% uplift in profit ROI.

Magazines are also highly effective partners to other media channels – especially when combined with TV and online video, delivering 34% and 44% uplift in impact respectively. 

There are many case studies on the Magnetic website which illustrate how magazine media delivers high quality audiences and attention for advertisers. 

A recent campaign between Fibre One and Grazia to help support healthier and happier lifestyles among women showed that 83% took action having seen the campaign. 42% actually bought Fibre One having seen the campaign.

Working with Red and Good Housekeeping, the White Stuff partnership led to a total sell out of all the products featured in the campaign in just four weeks! Purchase intent increased to 52% among those who saw the ad, and the campaign led to positive perception change too with all key measures increasing.  

Magazine media has the proven ability to deliver strong results, and long-term profitability for advertising partners which is why they should be at the cornerstones of successful branding campaigns.

Sources: Enders Analysis: The measure of value: Brand advertising in the balance (2023); Live the Passion, TI Media 2018; Pay Attention, Magnetic 2021; Putting Attention into context, Lumen 2021; MRI-Simmons, Starch Advertising Research, January-December 2021; Rules of Attention, IAB & Lumen 2019; Attention Pays 2019; PAMCo H1 2023 Jun 2021 – Dec 2022 print data fused with Nov 2022 iris data