New Media Lag Communication Impact Of TV, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers

New and emerging digital media platforms may be the rage on Madison Avenue and in the news media, but some highly regarded consumer research suggests they still have a long way to go before they replace traditional media as effective advertising alternatives with most consumers. The conclusion, which comes from the 2007 release of Compose, a collaboration of WPP Group's Kantar Media Research unit and Netherlands-based Pointlogic, is one of an array of new research studies being used by big media shops to evaluate the efficacy of using a wide range of communications platforms to reach consumers.

Of the 33 channels - ranging from traditional outlets like TV, radio and print to new media and marketing channels like sampling, promotions and direct marketing - the study found that the vast majority of consumers still find mainstream media to have the greatest influence.

"Consumers recognize TV as the No. 1 medium for building awareness: 43% rate it as excellent or very good. Magazines (31%), newspapers (29%) and radio (24%) all also performed well," the study found.

Asked which media helped them decide whether "they can trust a brand," TV ranked first again with 26% of the respondents, followed by newspapers (21%) and magazines (19%).

The newest media tracked in the survey - platforms like video games, video-on-demand, interactive TV and streaming online video - by contrast are still regarded by most consumers as being niche communication vehicles. Their scores on these measures ranged between 2% and 5%.

"When we ask consumers about how they perceive different forms of advertising, we get a higher score for the traditional media and the emerging media are scoring quite low - lower than I expected," says Peter Kloprogge, a co-founder and managing director of Pointlogic's U.S. media division. "The conclusion is that the traditional media should still be the cornerstone for brand advertising and that the new media still have a long way to go before they can replace the traditional media."

On the other hand, Kloprogge notes that the overall trend line favors newer media platforms in the long run, but that for some current communications objectives, they "just can't yet deliver."

Kloprogge emphasized that this is only the second installment of the Compose research, but that the early indications from the data are that new media are getting more attention in the industry "than their current position would validate. As such, you could say they're over-hyped."

That said, the Compose findings suggest that new media are having a more profound impact on marketing decisions among those consumers who favor them. Eighteen percent of interactive TV users consider it effective at conveying trust, while 12% of video game users rate it highly for driving awareness.

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