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Print is the medium to invest in right now if you want to grab the attention of your audience.

According to eye-tracking specialists Lumen, print advertising is currently generating 21% more attention than the norm for the medium. Some 88% of press ads run during the week of 18th to 25th March were viewed compared with an average view rate of 75%. Two-thirds (66%) of viewable digital ads were noticed compared with an average of 55% for desktop digital tests conducted in the past six months.

Dwell time – the amount of time spent actually looking at the ads – has also remained relatively strong. The average dwell time with digital ads in tests run last month was 1.5 seconds, slightly down from the Lumen average of 1.9 seconds. Dwell time with print advertising, on the other hand, increased slightly from 2.1 seconds to 2.2 seconds.

But if you want to create warmth and love for your brand – during the pandemic or once the virus has died out – you need a marketing strategy which makes the most of print’s unique qualities.

Let’s look at some of the most effective print campaigns of the Coronavirus pandemic to see how brands and governments alike are using the medium to its full effect.

A trusted voice

Governments throughout Europe have recognised just how important the print industry is in disseminating official messages in a way that resonates with the general public.

In the UK, the government joined forces with the news media for the “All in, all together” campaign. The three-month advertising partnership between the government and the newspaper industry sought to further amplify public information, campaigns and messaging in a style and tone more familiar to readers.

Commenting on the partnership, Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove spoke about the news media as a “trusted voice” and how it has the “ability to reach isolated communities”. It’s important to remember that one in 10 UK adults has never used the internet, while an estimated 4.3m have no demonstrable digital skills, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.

So far, the partnership has yielded a banded content element and a cover wrap reinforcing the “Stay at home” message. 

Turning caring into cash

Print has also shown itself to be a highly emotive medium during the pandemic.

UK newspapers The Sun and The Times have both run fundraising campaigns during the outbreak.The Sun’s Who Cares Wins appeal has raised over £1 million, with the money going towards helping hospital staff on the frontline. Meanwhile,The Times’ Coronavirus Charity Appeal, supporting charities Family Action and The Big Issue Foundation, has also raised more than £1 million.

Who said you need moving images accompanied by weepy backing music to capture the kind hearts of your audience?

Creating brand warmth through your marketing strategy

But perhaps we’ve said the best until last. In fact, data, insights and consulting company Kantar has found the following campaign to be the most effective of the pandemic so far…

Using print as its primary campaign channel, Heinz has pledged to give 12 million free breakfasts to school children at risk of starting their day hungry.

The campaign, launched in response to closure of schools, has not only grabbed people’s attention; it’s done the brand no harm at all either, suggests Kantar.

The firm gave the ad 98 (out of 100) for long-term return potential and 89 for short-term sales likelihood. It also scored 98 for brand memorability and 99 for creating warmth and love for the brand.

By comparison, McCain’s ‘Here’s To Everyone #stayhome’ TV ad scored 32 on long-term, 27 on short-term and only 17 on brand memorability, while Bird’s Eye’s ‘What’s for Tea’ TV ad scored 43, 36 and 44 respectively.

Commenting on how to create a winning marketing strategy during the pandemic, Kantar said: “The brands that win out are those that pursue a creative and distinctive creative platform, through a powerful and original human insight that resonates deeply, or through a unique brand vision or purpose.”

In contrast, ads which “don’t have anything different to stay” are struggling to cut through.

Final word

The power of print is being used by both brands and governments, as we progress through the pandemic, with campaigns that harness the medium’s innate trustworthiness, reach and affectional qualities.

But the marketing strategy has to be right, bringing something new to the table, if you want a campaign to cut through the noise right now.

Categories: InterestNews