Traditional media more effective than digital


Traditional media are more likely to make a positive impression and stimulate word-of-mouth advertising than digital media, according to When Advertising Works, a new study from Yankelovich to be released at the end of the month.

Despite the hype of YouTube and viral marketing, traditional media still make a bigger impact than digital media, though the study found both effective in their own right. When Advertising Works contains hard data on the impact of ads across 16 different platforms of both digital and traditional media. The study examined digital-media platforms such as email messages, search engines, Internet banner ads, social-networking Web sites, video games and video- sharing Web sites. Traditional-media platforms that were studied include billboards, magazines, in-store ads, newspapers, radio and movie theater commercials.

In conjunction with media consulting firm Sequent Partners, Yankelovich studied all of the numerous situational factors that affect the ways in which ads make an impression on people. The result is an attitudinal database of more than 4,000 individual ad impressions and all of the situational factors associated with each. There has never been another study of individual ad impressions as comprehensive and detailed as When Advertising Works.

The biggest differences between media platforms are the situational contexts within which people are exposed to ads. This study quantified the impact of situations on ad impressions. The situational differences between traditional and digital media platforms account for the differences in the ways people view each, according to the study.

"Situational differences determine when advertising works," explained J. Walker Smith, president of Yankelovich MONITOR. "Whether you’re using digital or traditional media, this study shows you how to get people to talk about your ad or buy your product rather than change the channel or turn the page," Smith said. "Through a combination of descriptive profiles and comparisons as well as sophisticated linear models, this study shows marketers how to create advertising that leaves people with a positive impression. That’s the heart and soul of the study."

When Advertising Works appears at a time when consumers are more difficult to reach, both because of today’s weakening economy and because of the vast amount of advertising consumers see every day. "We are confident that this study can help marketers make a more powerful and effective connection with their target consumers," Smith said.