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Newspapers Today
Part Print
As the marketing arm of the newspaper

industry, The Newspaper Works commissioned

research to provide the Australian media

industry with a contemporary insight into

how consumers relate to newspapers today.

The first consumer study to
The study involved quantitative

clearly define newspapers’ role,

research conducted by Celsius

Research in July 2007 and

Newspapers have always been an qualitative research by The
relevance and impact in
Leading Edge in December 2007. the modern media landscape.
integral part of the Australian
Newspapers Today (Print) is the first of

a two-part mass media report designed

media landscape. But how much
to look at the medium holistically, its

has changed in the digital world? Where do newspapers place in the changing media landscape and

its utility for advertising.

stand? And how DO newspapers INFLUENCE CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR? It provides a comprehensive understanding

of how consumers relate to the content in

printed newspapers, newspaper websites and

other media; and how that relationship

impacts on the way advertising is processed.

Extensive work conducted in the UK by Millward Brown and

the Newspaper Marketing Agency1 found there are five key

elements of newspapers that impact on how advertising

is processed and consumer behaviour is influenced.

1 are actively consumed, through

effort and selection
These five aspects of the media environment facilitate

brand messages from the moment of exposure to the time

2 goal
when a purchasing

decision is made.
These five ingredients are necessary
to affect consumer change.
are involving and mentally

34 have stature and credibility

have a rapport and personal

bond with their users
At The Newspaper Works we wanted a clearer idea of

how Australian newspapers are performing against the

critical aspects of media environments that influence

advertising performance.

5 provide a variety of suitable content

environments, for contextual fit

4 5
Executive Summary
Australians are most likely to actively engage with
newspapers and their websites because of three key things…
they are absorbing, dynamic and reputable.

Newspapers are absorbing. They do more than

entertain, they

provide a sense of occasion and personal time that readers

describe as ‘my space’. In this state of mind consumers

are more open to absorbing advertising messages.

Newspapers are dynamic. They have always

been the medium

that stimulates thought, starts conversations and shapes

What The Newspaper Works study revealed
the important issues of the day. They afford readers more

opportunities to interact, participate and create word of

is best expressed by a positioning for Australian
mouth than any other medium.

newspapers based on readers’ receptivity to content.

NB: ‘Newspapers’ refers to the printed version only unless otherwise stated.
Newspapers are reputable. They generate
trusted, original

content that’s respected more than in any other medium. Consumers

find newspaper content enriching as well as entertaining

and informative.

These three key attributes combine to deliver an unparalleled

opportunity for advertisers to connect with their audience.

Consumers welcome newspaper advertising more than in any other

medium, they consider newspaper advertising the most believable,

and are more likely to act on newspaper advertising, be it in

the printed or website form, than any other source.

Newspapers differ from both TV and radio as the medium

requires the consumer to be engaged and active in order

to consume the content.

By contrast TV and radio are

Newspaper readers
generally consumed passively. are three times as
Magazines, like newspapers, mentally engaged

tend to be consumed free from and focused as

other distractions.
magazine readers.
I concentrate on the content
when consuming this medium



I’m mentally engaged when

consuming this medium
With increasing demands on their time, consumers 21%

have less time to spend with a greater number of media.

The Newspaper Works study revealed that 74% of Australians Celsius Research (July 2007)

However, the levels of mental engagement and concentration

are using more types of media now than in the past. So there
of magazine readers are substantially lower than for
is a premium on those that can command their users’ full newspapers. Consumers indicate that this high level

attention. Newspapers do this more so than any other medium. of engagement and concentration leads to a real sense

of occasion when it comes to reading a newspaper - one

which creates a strong personal bond and is described

by readers as ‘my space’ in The Leading Edge research.

Newspaper (print) Newspaper (print/website) FTA TV Radio Magazines


“Newspapers make me sit down and actually stop.

good, I’m always busy with my kids and running Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,

here, there and everywhere. Professor of Psychology at
When I’m sitting with the paper they know not to talk
the University of Chicago,
to me – it’s my quiet time.” The Leading Edge (Dec 2007)
developed a term called

‘flow’ to describe the deep but effortless involvement that removes consumers from
I consume this medium on my own 37%
the worries and frustrations of everyday life2.
It’s a term now used in the field of Positive Psychology, to help understand
how people achieve happiness in their lives. His work indicates that reading, Our study also revealed

which includes newspapers, is one of the most frequently cited instances of ‘flow’. that younger generations 27%

of readers behave much Celsius Research (July 2007)

I do other things at the same 10%
time as consuming this medium like the general population in the way they connect with printed newspapers.
The levels of engagement for 18-34 year olds were similar to the national average.

46% There were just a few subtle differences; most notably (maybe even surprisingly)

10% that younger readers were more likely to read newspapers on their own.

Celsius Research (July 2007)

Naturally, the state of ‘flow’ in the context of the newspaper reading experience “It’s time out to yourself, like
provides the ideal mindset for influencing consumer behaviour. being in your own little world.”
The Leading Edge (Dec 2007)

90% of people pay full attention

when they’re reading a newspaper,
compared with 50% for TV.

Newspaper (print) Newspaper (print/website) FTA TV Radio Magazines

10 Newspaper (print) Newspaper (print/website) FTA TV Radio Magazines
Because consumers give

newspapers their
Helps me decide which brands
best reflect my personal beliefs
and attitudes

undivided attention and are typically not doing other things at the same time, it’s

the ideal environment for advertising messages to influence consumer behaviour.

Especially when it comes to deciding on brands.




Celsius Research (July 2007)

Newspapers have for many years been

the main purveyors of news to the

Australian public. They’ve set the

news agenda and kept the public in

touch, providing people with talking

points and challenging perceptions

across an incredible variety of topics.

What other medium can provoke debate

on anything from the weather to world

The Advertising Research Foundation, based in New York,

revealed that consumers are more absorbed in newspapers than any other main media as they’re more

attentive and more involved when reading.3 This has a two-fold implication for influencing consumer

behaviour. Firstly, as consumers are more focused when consuming the medium, they’re more motivated

to process messages. Secondly, when they’re involved and committed to consuming a medium, greater

value and/or enjoyment are obtained.

Newspaper (print) Newspaper (print/website) FTA TV Radio Magazines

Technology has changed the way people interact with newspapers. Newspaper

websites now sit side-by-side with the printed paper to help shape the news

through contributions like photos, blogs, polls, letters to the editor, podcasts

“Newspapers give you other views and videos.

on things and can challenge what In fact, The Newspaper Works
73% of Australians say they are
you thought.”
The way in which newspapers are estimates that over 30,000 spending as much or more time than
ever with newspapers, now they’re
The Leading Edge

(Dec 2007) dynamic has evolved over time as comments are contributed to

available in print and website versions.

new media have been introduced. Newspapers have print and online newspapers
integrated print and online to break news, deciding every week.
Celsius Research (July 2007) Base: Australians who read both
where it is best placed and on which platform it the on-line and printed version of newspapers (n=440)

will run and when. I feel I am up-to-date

with the news immediately
The early morning consumption when I use this source 40%

Newspaper websites enhance the of newspapers puts them in a

unique position to determine



enduring ability of the printed what is the key news on any


paper to set the daily agenda. given day. Celsius Research (July 2007)

The printed newspaper takes

a stance, has a point of view and often challenges thinking. This is backed up by
newspaper websites which have the ability to break news and provide updates throughout

the day, unlike television, which is inclined to

hold its major stories back until the early “If I read a particular
evening news bulletins. article and it’s really
interesting I go online
The content shapes what
the important issues of
36% to a news website to
the day are 45%
get a bit more on it.”
36% The Leading Edge (Dec 2007)



Celsius Research (July 2007) The belief in printed newspapers

as setting the agenda for the day NEWSPAPERS and their websites are the most
is not merely the preserve of older generations. Even when looking at the printed form

of newspapers alone, 14-24 year olds are more likely than 25-34 year olds to hold this
dynamic OF MAIN MEDIA.
The Advertising Research Foundation also revealed
association (33% versus 28%), and are only marginally less likely than 25-49 year olds (35%). that consumers’ interaction with newspapers and their websites is more dynamic than in any other main

media3. The implication for marketers in terms of consumer behaviour is that greater interaction with

the medium results in a greater receptivity to messages, which in turn leads to a greater inclination

to act upon them.

Newspaper (print) Newspaper (print/website) FTA TV Radio Magazines

14 Newspaper (print) Newspaper (print/website) FTA TV Radio Magazines
Newspaper content is more
respected than content in One of the defining benefits of

any other medium.

newspapers is the credibility of

their content. Thirty three percent

of consumers believe newspaper content is the most respected; only slightly less

than for television, radio and magazines combined.

“Both have that same level

And newspaper websites augment this credibility.
of intelligence.”
The Leading Edge (Dec 2007)

While younger generations may be making extensive use of digital media, they are

in fact the generations which have the greatest trust in printed newspapers. 42% of

14-17 year olds see the printed newspaper as having more credible content than

other media and a third of 18-24 year olds feel the same.
33% 41% 17% 13% 5%

Newspapers are also powerful in generating word of mouth.

Faced with a veritable media overload these “You trust in what they
The global Nielsen consumer report

choose to tell you.” on Trust in Advertising (Oct 2007),

days, consumers’ level of trust in media takes on The Leading Edge (Dec 2007)
conducted amongst over 26,000

more importance than ever, and newspapers continue consumers in 47 markets, including Australia, rated printed

newspapers second only to word of mouth as the most trusted

to survive and indeed thrive as the pre-eminent
source of information, significantly ahead of magazines, TV,
Content in this medium
source of credible content. radio and the internet. is generally better
respected than in other

Newspapers are the most trusted

Celsius Research (July 2007)

information source of any medium.

Newspaper (print) Newspaper (print/website) FTA TV Radio Magazines

While newspapers and their websites outscore both

how an
TV and radio in terms of purely informing, the

gap grows even wider once we look at informing 36%

36% 45% 29% 20% 14%

and educating. Again, the presence of newspaper

websites adds to the

ability of newspapers Newspapers are

to provide this the most enriching
benefit to consumers.
medium of all.
Consuming this type of media
is an enriching experience


I feel not only
012% informed but educated
by this medium

dynamic and
Celsius Research (July 2007) Celsius Research (July 2007)

The Advertising Research Foundation also revealed that consumers.
consumers trust newspapers and consider them to be more reputable, credible, informing and enriching

than any other main media3. The implication for marketers is that consumers are more likely to believe

and rely on messages that are presented within such a trusted environment.

Newspaper (print) Newspaper (print/website) FTA TV Radio Magazines

18 19
The adjacent table, based on the Newspapers We have established that newspapers have the key ingredients to
Today research, summarises how newspapers facilitate and impact consumer behaviour, and that consumers
How Consumed Active welcome the advertising and find it believable. But do consumers
in Australia compare with the five key
Mental Stimulation High act on newspaper advertising?
ingredients that influence consumer

behaviour, as outlined by Millward Brown

Stature/Credibility High The immediacy of newspapers also extends to an ability to bring

about action on the part of consumers. Four in ten consumers are likely
at the beginning of this report. Personal Bond Strong
to act on information in newspapers and their websites regarding
Given this, it’s reasonable to suggest Variety of Content High
products and services,
that newspapers are the only medium
making newspapers the I am likely to act on information 32%
I receive about a product
that rate highly on all five key ingredients and therefore are most responsive of all or service through this source 39%

extremely powerful in influencing consumer behaviour. main media. 34%

The Newspaper Works can reveal that, in an age where avoidance of
advertising is increasing, Australians still welcome advertising in
Celsius Research (July 2007)
newspapers. And they find it

believable and are much more Newspapers are less likely to The Newspapers Today study found that consumers made purchases

inclined to pay attention to it. be ignored than TV and and sought further information as a result of seeing newspaper

ads. Overall, 80% of Australians have acted on a newspaper ad.

28% 31% 26% 17% 15%

newspaper advertising is seen In particular, we found that newspapers are powerful in driving

as the most believable of all. traffic to the websites of products and services.

Actions taken as a result of seeing a newspaper advertisement

Visited website of product/service 59%

Enquired further about a product/service 54%

Visited a store or showroom 53%

Bought a product/service 52%

Mentioned ad to family or friends 49%

Ads here are usually Torn out ad and given to family or friends 45%
Celsius Research (July 2007) Base: all reading a newspaper at least once every six months (n=910)

Newspaper (print) Newspaper (print/website) FTA TV Radio Magazines

20 Newspaper (print) Newspaper (print/website) FTA TV Radio Magazines
Harnessing the power The Six Strategic Roles for
of newspapers to connect newspaper advertising
with consumers 1. Public Agenda Raises the profile of a brand, issue or cause
or leverages a topic that’s already being publicly debated.
The absorbing, dynamic and reputable nature of newspapers provide a powerful

platform for advertisers to affect behavioural change in consumers.

Research conducted by the Newspaper Marketing Agency in the UK concludes 2. (Re)Appraisal Surprises and challenges people

that newspapers provide the platform and environment for advertising to: by presenting a brand in an unexpected way, thereby

provoking a rethink.
• provoke reactions

• stimulate debate

• challenge conventional thinking

• convey complex messages 3. Affinity Establishes emotional connections by mirroring the

• deliver the essence of a campaign values or aspirations of readers.

• establish strong emotional connections and a sense

of affinity with brands, products and services

4. Conveying Information Provides new and additional

content, be it breadth, depth or complexity.

5. Call to Action Promises an unequivocal benefit the consumer can act

on. It can also direct readers to another platform, such as the internet.



Furthermore the NMA research, subsequently

validated in the Newspapers Today study, has 6. Extension Reminds you about a brand by repeating
identified six distinct, but not mutually or developing established messages from television.

exclusive strategic roles that

newspaper advertising can play.

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The Newspaper Works is now embarking on a rigorous effectiveness

programme designed to isolate and demonstrate the impact

newspapers have across the six different strategic roles.

Such a programme has already been undertaken in the UK by the

Newspaper Marketing Agency and the results have proven beyond

any doubt just how powerful newspapers are. In fact they found

that the addition of newspapers to a campaign can increase brand

bonding by up to five times, double brand involvement and double

commitment. In their studies, newspapers were responsible for

an average 5%+ sales increase above TV-driven sales, and in

some cases sales increased by up to 26%.

Through research, Newspapers Today

We are expecting similarly strong results in Australia.

has provided compelling evidence

If you are interested in partnering us in our effectiveness that in the new media marketplace,
programme, contact The Newspaper Works on (02) 9692 6300. newspapers provide the perfect platform

and environment for advertisers to connect

powerfully with consumers.

Newspapers are Research
Quantitative Research
The quantitative research was

online in July 2007 by independent market

research company Celsius Research.


The sample comprised of n=1,010 Australians aged 14 - 69. Quotas

were imposed on age, gender and geography and the data post-

Undivided attention weighted to known population characteristics as per the ABS, to

Absorbed in content ensure representivity of the Australian population.

Figures in this report are accurate to within +/- 3% at the 95%

confidence interval. All charts are based on the overall sample

(i.e. the Australian population) unless otherwise stated.

Consumers are more motivated to process messages. This report focuses on mass media; specifically newspapers (both

the printed version and newspaper websites) television, radio

and magazines.

Qualitative Research

Shapes the day’s issues The qualitative research was conducted in December 2007 by

independent market research company The Leading Edge.
Breaking & updating
Eight focus groups and four in-depth interviews were conducted in

Interactive/participatory both metro and regional locations (Sydney, Melbourne and Orange).

All participants were regular users of newspapers in print and

Consumers are more likely to act on messages. online, and were aged from 18-61.




Consumers more inclined to find messages believable.


These three key attributes combine to deliver an unrivalled 1. Millward Brown in conjunction with the Newspaper Marketing

opportunity for advertisers to connect with consumers because: Agency. Myers, C. (2007). Engaging, Active, Involving – The Case

for National Newspaper Advertising, Millward Brown.

Consumers welcome newspaper advertising
2. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1991). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal
more than in any other medium. Experience. New York: Harper Perrenial. Original edition, New York:

Harper & Row, 1990.

Consumers consider newspaper advertising
the most believable of all media. 3. The Advertising Research Foundation. Plummer, J., Cook, B.,
Diforio, D., Sokolyankskaya, I. & Ovchinnikova, M. (June 2006). White

Consumers are more likely to act on paper on Measures of Engagement, Advertising Research Foundation.

newspaper advertising.

26 27
For more details on this research or for further

information on how newspapers can help you to

influence consumer behaviour, please contact

Tony Hale or Lucia Elliott at The Newspaper Works

on (02) 9692 6300 or email us at