Benchmark Series: Advertising in news outperforms Facebook and YouTube


Ads in news are as good as (or better than) ads on YouTube

ThinkNewsBrands has released the latest findings from The Benchmark and Payback Series that shows advertising in news is more effective than advertising on social media platforms.

The findings come from The Benchmark Series, the largest cross-media advertising effectiveness study ever conducted in Australia.

Commissioned by ThinkNewsBrands, and overseen by Dr Duane Varan, CEO of audience research lab MediaScience, the study included more than 5,350 participants and ran across 42 print runs and 252 websites which together created 6,037 unique brand exposures. 

Dr Varan said: “Benchmark is the first study of its kind properly comparing news versus social media in terms of ad impact. The results fill an important void in understanding the larger media landscape.”

The latest findings of the research include:

• Ads in printed newspapers** outperform Facebook ads of all types by up to four times.

• Combined news formats are twice as effective as combined Facebook formats

• Ads in news are as good as (or better than) ads on YouTube

• News offers a stronger ROI than social media

Additionally, The Payback Series research, conducted in conjunction with GroupM Australia and global marketing effectiveness consultancy Gain Theory, found news offers a greater return on media investment than social media.

ThinkNewsBrands general manager Vanessa Lyons said: “This research is a wake-up call for marketers: investing heavily in social media advertising isn’t the answer you’ve been led to believe.

“Wouldn’t you rather reach your audience in an active, receptive state than a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scroll? Delivering the strongest reach, greater memorability and immediate ROI, there’s simply no alternative for news.”

*Run of the internet refers to non-premium sites including but not limited to TechRadar, The Daily Mail, Yahoo, Mamamia and Buzzfeed.

**The study measured quarter, half and full-page print ads.

See also: News publishers’ research reminds marketers about big print + digital audience

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