Context Matters
2017 Winner

Context Matters

The Globe and Mail

Toronto, Canada

Category Consumer Research

Overview of this campaign

As the media industry continues to become more fragmented and advertisers continue to move towards programmatic buying practices pursuing the cheapest audience with little regard to the environment in which their message is placed, Globe Media Group wanted to explore the currency of trust and its role in consumer decision making. Are advertised brands considered in the same way regardless of environments, contextual relevance or perceptions of quality? Is an eyeball equal to an eyeball equal to an eyeball? We didn’t think so.

In 2016, we partnered with Rogers Insights, Marketing Magazine and the Canadian Marketing Association to conduct a two-part research series, consisting of a consumer study with 4,003 participants and a marketers study with 265 senior Canadian marketers, to understand the role of premium environments in influencing perceptions of an advertiser's brand across 5 industries.

Our Objectives:

  • Position The Globe and Mail’s advertising arm, Globe Media Group, as a thought-leader in the media industry through the development of proprietary research on consumer behaviour and perceptions
  • Change the conversation from CPMs, impressions and rate compressions to one of trust, behaviour and audience mindset
  • Provide support and insights to validate our premium positioning in the marketplace
  • Partner with Rogers Insights, Marketing magazine and the Canadian Marketing Association to conduct research, validate findings, and extend the reach of the results through third-party, non-biased sources
  • Leveraging the final white paper to drive new registration on The Globe's trade marketing site and serve as a sales lead generation tool

Results for this campaign

The results of the research were extremely validating and have influenced our internal culture and the ways in which we speak of our brand and products. It’s supported our belief that in the value equation for publishers, producing quality content and protecting our digital environments is worth it. It has reaffirmed the value of audience engagement in a rate-compressed industry that continues to trade in the currency of eyeballs and clicks. We’ve always known our journalism attracted an engaged audience, one that was attractive to advertisers, and now we have proof.

When asked about media brands that are perceived to be most “premium”, consumers identified newspaper brands far and away from other sources, with trust being the defining quality of the word “premium”. In all instances, brand ads viewed within the context of “premium” sites saw a positive lift in perception of over 30% in the eyes of the consumer. On the flip side, when ads were placed on sites seen as neutral or less “premium”, the effect on perception had up to a 38% negative impact on the brand.

Context Matters launched in 2 phases; the consumer study results (June 2016) and marketers study/whitepaper launch (October 2016). In partnership with Marketing and the Canadian Marketing Association, Context Matters dominated the trade media conversation with an integrated communications plan including editorial reports, digital news stories, press releases, sales road shows, industry conference sessions, advertising campaigns and a 10-page research white paper. 

2016 campaign highlights included: press release picked up by over 45 news outlets; editorial reports and digital news stories in Marketing, reaching 12,000 Canadian industry professionals and 135,321 monthly unique visitors respectively; Advisory Board panel constructed of C-Suite marketers and agency presidents.

In 2017 and beyond, Context Matters will continue to permeate through our communications approach including our new Journalism Matters campaign, upcoming ad products based on engagement, and more.


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