TV + newspaper brands equal winning combination for advertisers

By Jessica Sampson

IKEA’s “Gnome sweet gnome” ads,’s Brian the Robot campaign, Galaxy’s Audrey Hepburn ads, Waitrose’s “The story of...” series, Fiat’s “Ready to Wear Spring/Summer” collection … the list goes on and on.

What common feature do the above ad campaigns share? They all utilise news brands and TV advertising to communicate with target audiences.

Many brands use TV as their core advertising medium, but it cannot do everything. So it’s essential to use other media to maximise the effectiveness of the overall investment.

The strength of the news brand/TV combo lies in the differences between them. The national press can offer different coverage and reach different people. For example:

  • TV advertising can have great impact, but it elapses in real time and leaves only a memory. Written-word advertising (either print or digital) can both evoke the TV ad and allow the reader to spend as much time as they like engaging with the content.

  • Likewise, while TV ads can create a degree of fame for a campaign and deliver the entertainment factor to increase engagement, news brand ads allow people to read and absorb the details that can be lost on screen.

  • Whereas TV can be relied on to reach heavy TV viewers, news brands reach more than five million light, commercial TV viewers in the UK. They complement TV by adding younger, male, up-market audiences who are likely to live in or around London – highly attractive demographics for many brands.

This complementary relationship is evidenced by the fact that across 18 Newsworks case studies that feature TV and newspapers, the number of people agreeing that the advertising “gives me a reason to go out and buy” rose by an average of 48% when both media were seen, compared with TV alone.

In particular, strong examples of the beneficial bond between TV and news brand advertising stand out in Newsworks studies on food advertising and car advertising.


When it comes to the food industry, the link between TV and news brands is (pun unintended) pretty organic. While TV food shows have a very powerful and emotional connection with viewers, this connection is reinforced and refreshed by the weekly interviews, recipes, and advice that famous foodies offer through the medium of news brands.

Many national newspapers have a resident cook featured weekly (both print and online): Rachel Khoo for the Evening Standard, Yotam Ottolenghi for the Guardian, Nigel Slater for the Observer, Mary Berry for the Daily Mail, Lorraine Pascale for The Sun, Michel Roux Jr. for the Daily Telegraph, Mark Hix for the Independent.

For cookery fans, this means news brands become a secondary medium for accessing TV food experts’ culinary ideas in between series and episodes — and, crucially, that news brands are attracting readers that value food brands and products.

The natural correlation between TV and news brands, in terms of food, is a great benefit for advertisers. For example:

  • Food is a highly emotional subject for consumers. Both news brands and TV are platforms through which brands can forge and maintain emotional connections with their audiences.

    TV advertising offers a tangible and multi-sensory experience, which lends itself to the food advertising. News brands’ strengths lie in the fact that people often invest a great deal of emotion in the newspaper they read. The act of reading itself is an engaging and personal experience.

    Often an ad in a newspaper, for example the popular Lurpak butter ads, can provide a powerful image and message that echoes the emotional reaction people have to the TV advert.

  • Campaigns that run across TV and news brands are more likely to encourage a new way of thinking about a food brand, with Newsworks’ effectiveness tests finding that TV advertising had a 61% success rate in getting people to reassess a food brand, compared to 81% when TV and news brands are used together.

    For example, when Kraft launched Cadbury Philadelphia, both companies utilised print and TV advertising to promote the new product, aware that it required consumers to reassess the Philadelphia brand.

    While TV coverage serves in providing mass awareness, newspapers have a basic role of provoking reassessment and questioning the status quo, putting readers in the mindset to consider new information.

  • Overall, Newsworks’ effectiveness tests found that consumers’ brand involvement was 2.5 times greater when they were exposed to TV and news brand advertising, compared with TV advertising alone.


A car is, for most people, a big purchase, requiring the initial enthusiasm for the product or brand to withstand the period of careful consideration that follows. As a result, car ads tend to create desire as well as provide more detailed practicalities to help seal the deal.

The combination of newspaper and TV ads are a good way to attain these ends:

  • TV is great for conveying the emotional and sensory experience of the car, creating a vivid image of the lifestyle the car will serve. Newspaper ads give the consumer the opportunity to absorb the finer details, as well as creating brand familiarity and building on the emotional connection sparked by the TV ad.

  • In terms of a call to action, news brand ads are very effective in getting people to go out and buy. While TV creates a strong brand identity for car brands, news brands extend this with up-to-date product details and offers for consumers that are on the cusp of purchasing.

    And, as with all news brand advertising, there is also the opportunity to play on current news to grab people’s attention, get a laugh, and create the impression of a current and up-to-date campaign — as demonstrated by the Mini Roadster ad above, which featured across the national titles earlier in the year.

  • As with celebrity cooks, TV car experts such as Jeremy Clarkson and Quentin Willson write regularly for news brands, the former featuring in The Sun and The Sunday Times and the latter often contributing to the Sunday Mirror’s motor section.

    This parallel between TV and news brands creates continuity for auto enthusiasts, which is beneficial to advertisers utilising both mediums for a campaign.

  • Overall, Newsworks’ effectiveness tests found TV and newspaper advertising in tandem create a consideration shift in potential buyers that is three times greater than the effect of TV advertising alone.

About Jessica Sampson

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