Advertising is valued and absorbed
"In a media environment increasingly characterised by interruption, magazines remain an oasis of engagement."
Renatta McCann, Starcom.
What prompted this conclusion? Very simply, Starcom asked readers of women's magazines to pull 10 pages from their favourite magazine. These 10 pages were meant to symbolise the very essence of the magazine in the view of the reader. 30 per cent of the pages pulled were advertisements.
It is inconceivable that this could happen in any other medium. Give a media consumer the opportunity and they are likely to block pop-ups or fast forward through ads on their PVR. The exact opposite is true in magazines.
The reader approaches the magazine in a frame of mind geared to absorbing that particular magazine's personality and opinion. They expect relevance and consonance between the character of an advertisement and the magazine. So, when an advertisement in a magazine resonates with the character of that magazine's personality, it is capable of achieving a synergy with the rest of the content. This all contributes to an environment where advertising clutter becomes an insignificant factor in comparison to other media. Medialogue’s Stop|watch research proves this point exactly.
Stop|watch found that the recognition, attribution and effective scores do show significant differences dependent on the advertising-editorial split. However, these run counter to any clutter hypothesis: the greater the proportion of advertisements, the higher the effective score, mainly on account of better attribution.
It is normal practice in audio-visual media to ensure that there is never more than one advertiser from each sector in each block of advertising because interference from a competitor can strongly affect the impact of an ad.
According to Medialogue this just isn't the case in magazines. Both recognition and attribution stay at the same level, no matter how many or how few competitors advertise in the same issue. A remarkable finding is that with more than nine competitors the recognition scores actually go up!
Stop|watch compared advertisements without competition with advertisements which have to compete with another on the same page, the preceding page or the next page in the issue. There was no measurable difference between the two on any aspect of the communication effect.