GfK, MRI: Magazine Ad Placement Registers Little Impact
The results, first reported by Mediaweek, suggest that one of the more labor-intensive parts of the media planning process for magazines serves no real purpose.
GfK MRI examined 68,000 ads that appeared in magazines over the last 18 months, measuring their impact on readers and attempting to correlate ad effectiveness with positioning. But the research firm found that on average, a single ad had the same impact regardless of its location -- e.g., in the front or back of a magazine, or proximity to relevant editorial.
The one major discriminator in terms of ad effectiveness appeared to be adjacency to other ads. Ads that appeared next to editorial did better than ads next to other ads, attracting 51% of readers versus 46% for the latter category. Ads located next to the table of contents scored somewhat higher, read by 59% of readers.
The data for magazine ad effectiveness are drawn from GfK MRI's annual Survey of the American Consumer and its proprietary comprehensive advertising measurement service for consumer magazines, AdMeasure. AdMeasure combines data-describing ad recall, the influence of the ad on the consumer's perception of the brand, and actions taken subsequent to seeing the ad with audience data to determine the ad's impact over time.
The service was formed by the integration of MRI's new issue-specific readership data with ad-effectiveness data from GfK Starch, which MRI acquired in the first half of 2009.
In 2010, MRI is offering AdMeasure ratings for every national ad in every issue of all 200 consumer magazines tracked by the research firm.