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Relevance Matters

  • Date:

    12 February 2021

Relevance Matters

Maintaining cultural relevance, being relatable, authentic, and taking the time to truly understand an audience’s beliefs and values has never been more important for brands than it is now.

Many studies have explored the value of an emotional connection with your audience, consistently demonstrating the long-term brand impact in such an approach.

In this sense, relevance is about emotional resonance – an advertising message that achieves an emotional connection, one that is imbued with a degree of meaning. 

But relevance can also be about targeting; be that discrete audiences, specific occasions, or even precise stages in the purchase cycle. 

An emphasis on one interpretation of this pulls you towards long-term effects on the one hand, or short-term effects on the other. Embracing them both is a good way to straddle long- and short-term pressures.

In Planning Beyond Reach, a study conducted by Magnetic and Kantar (2020) that uses TGI data, we considered both interpretations of relevance. We looked at how advertising in different media environments can deliver brand trust, and ultimately how you can secure attentive reach with different audiences. 


Planning Beyond Reach is based on a 1,000 TGI sample who were surveyed about their attitudes to advertising during August 2020. We looked at this data through the lens of TGI Clickstream which enabled us to profile bespoke attitudinal audience segments.

The media results are based on channel users ‘last month’.

Due to the timing of the survey, there was an insufficient sample for cinema. Outdoor data has also been suppressed as travel was significantly impacted during 2020 lockdown.

We were able to look at this data through the lens of TGI Clickstream. This made it possible to look at the relative strengths of advertising on different media in terms of attention, relevance, trust for different audience groups

Key Conclusions

For advertisers who want to plan beyond simply using reach data and consider quality environments, this analysis helps them to consider the ‘A.R.T.’ of media planning:

  1. Attention: plan for attention. We believe new tools will increasingly make this possible and this TGI work is just one of them
  2. Relevance: Consider targeted media channels and opportunities for your short-term objectives but equally ensure you resonate on an emotional level and deliver long term brand value
  3. Trust: Authenticity and trust are paramount, trusted environments ensure credibility for your brand

The evidence that magazine environments deliver quality attention is growing, see Pay Attention (Magnetic), The Rules of Attention (IAB) and work from the Attention CouncilPlanning Beyond Reach adds to this body of work.

It is the relevance of magazine environments in print and online that explains these high levels of attention. Magazines are targeted to specific audiences and their passions and offer advertisers the opportunity to place contextually relevant messages that are more likely to be welcomed.

In this regard magazine environments can build brands via meaningful connections with their consumers, as well as prompt purchase in the short term due to proximity to relevant content.

Magazine media is a great channel to straddle the short- and long-term effectiveness divide. They offer environments (print and digital), which are highly relevant, allowing advertisers to build brands in the long term via emotional resonance, and target in the short term via specialist titles or content that is closer to purchase