With the media landscape shifting at the whim of technology and consumer trends, it’s sometimes hard to find facts. In a world where headlines can prophesy the demise of the press, the effectiveness of print advertising has slowly become undermined. 

As market leaders, Independent News & Media (INM) set forth to take a stand. We already had an abundance of passion for the printed product, a passion we knew our readers shared. We undertook to set the record straight and prove definitively that print advertising works.

Millennial media buyers and planners are coming fresh to the world of media buying, exuberant and bursting with knowledge of the online landscape — visionaries who could probably teach some of us who’ve been in the industry a decade or more a digital thing or two.

How could this online savvy group of buyers perceive the remarkable effect of print advertising without being exposed to proof? Real facts backed up by real data.

With an objective to drive investment to the medium, while creating an  awareness of the tremendous effectiveness of print advertising, “The Book of Evidence”  was born.

INM undertook to prove that print advertising still has a prominent place in the media landscape.
INM undertook to prove that print advertising still has a prominent place in the media landscape.

 

INM conducted two major research studies that had never before been attempted in Ireland. The first study consisted of 13,000 face-to-face interviews of newspaper buyers at the point of purchase. The second was Ireland’s largest econometrics study, which collected three years of data from 20 million data points across four industry sectors.

The findings proved without a doubt that print has a rightful place on media schedules, not only illustrating that it delivers return on investment (ROI), but that it out- performs other media channels.

 

Two major research studies revealed that print delivers ROI and outperforms other media channels.
Two major research studies revealed that print delivers ROI and outperforms other media channels.

“The Book of Evidence,” however, was more than a research project. From a very early stage, we knew that delivering proof would be as critical as the research itself. We needed to challenge the mind, change perceptions, and immerse the industry in a movement that would allow them to prove to themselves the indispensable power of print.

We accomplished this with our interactive, experiential campaign “An Exciting Journey Awaits.”

The tease

Everyone loves to have their name in the newspaper once in their lives. We finally had the proof the industry needed, but we wanted media planners and buyers to prove it to themselves.

INM executed a completely unbranded print campaign using the strength of our own titles: The Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, The Herald, and Sunday World. Targeting 50 media clients, calling out each by name, we invited them to come on an exciting journey where they would have the chance to win tickets to Cannes Lions 2017.

 The reveal

INM revealed to registrants that it was in fact one of our newspaper ads that brought you here,” to the event registration site and that’s not surprising as “10% of all landing page visits are a direct result of print advertising.”

Mass awareness

As attention mounted, INM executed an above-the-line campaign showcasing a series of moments where print sparks that powerful connection with the result being an industry-specific action.

This bold campaign supported the investment clients were making in the market, helping to drive sales in Q4 of 2016.
This bold campaign supported the investment clients were making in the market, helping to drive sales in Q4 of 2016.

The event

Two hundred media industry staff joined us at the Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery in Dublin, where the results of our studies came to life through art. From the moment guests stepped in the door, their cognitive process was challenged as we reinforced facts from the “Book of Evidence” through perception, attention, memory, and problem solving.

The editor of LIFE magazine (Sunday Independent), Brendan O’Connor, gave a passionate address about the importance of trusted journalism in this era of fake news. Interwoven in his address was the proof that print worked. A room full of people then shouted statistics back at the master of ceremonies on stage proving that print advertising indeed does work; the fervour was a akin to that of a Beyoncé concert.

Keith Barry, illusionist extraordinaire, delivered a mind-bending interactive performance that challenged perceptions and subliminally addressed facts from “The Book of Evidence.” The finale of his performance saw two people in the room walk away with a trip to Cannes Lions 2017.

The passion was there; we had challenged perceptions. Every single person in the room on that night was there because of an unbranded newspaper advertisement. By attending the event, they themselves had proved the power of print.

Finally, the industry had real tangible proof of print efficacy; our bold, direct experiential campaign supported the investment clients were making in our market and helped drive sales in Q4 of 2016. In the month following the big event, there was an increase in print advertising expenditure for INM titles across three of four categories: travel and tourism, retail, and motors. 

All of this is proof that print advertising holds a pivotal place on the media schedule echoed loud and clear. Do you have the facts?