National newspapers deliver the emotional environmnent vital for car brand messages, to appeal to the heart as well as the head
NMA research in 2006 found that much motors advertising in newspapers was failing to make a strong connection with readers. Increasingly, "green" messages were becoming important for motors brands and it was important to know how well those messages were getting across to car buyers.
To understand the behaviour of consumers in the new car marketplace and their response to motors ads in newspapers. To test whether behaviour and attitudes had changed since the 2006 research. To test car buyers' understanding of and attitude to "green" messages and how such ads were perceived. To find out whether motors advertising in newspapers was making better connections with car buyers.
Quantitative research was commissioned from BMRB among 2665 recent or intending car buyers. Responses to 70 ads were measured. The media and creative agencies involved in the NMA effectiveness testing of Toyota Yaris advertising explained their perspectives. See separate case study for more detailed finding on newspapers' role in delivering "green" messages.
Emotional factors are at least as important as practical considerations in the choice of a new car. Newspapers are an important source of ideas and information for people confronted with the complexities of the market. The highest-scoring ad delivered strongly on both brand and price roles. There was a huge gap in perfomance between the strongest and weakest ads. Environmental considerations were important to car buyers, but the "eco" terms used in ads were not well understood. There has been some improvement in motor ad performance since the 2006 research.
The best newspaper advertising can deliver both emotional engagement and information. The two are not mutually exclusive. Some motors ads could be working harder for their brands. Multiple executions work well to build engagement, and to use diffferent sections of the newspaper to target specific consumer segments. The quality of the creative, not the size of the ad, is the primary factor in whether an ad is successful.