Raymond Snoddy on media: Guinness is still good - for papers

You can see why Guinness hasn't been spending a lot on newspaper brand advertising in recent years. Supermarket coupons in the regional press are one thing, but white chargers in the surf looked much better in moving pictures.

Toshiba can expect to derive similar benefits from its visually arresting new TV ad, the brand's first big UK television campaign for two years. Colour is good, but there's that certain something about sound and movement, whether on TV or broadband, that newsprint cannot equal.

The technology company will really stand out with this one, particularly because its previous "Ello Tosh' approach was never that good. But while this is an ad made for TV, the copy lines - 'We make light lighter, fast faster, small smaller: we even try to make round rounder and when we get to the finishing line, we move it' - could easily be broken up in reinforcement newspaper ads.

Toshiba should be work in progress for the Newspaper Marketing Agency. For now, it has Guinness on board, proclaiming the effectiveness of national newspapers as a brand-building medium.

Its ads in places like The Independent's media pages look very effective. There is Russell Jones, marketing director of Guinness, standing in front of vast towers of papers. According to Jones, he needed quite a bit of convincing that it was the 'right place' for his product to be. 'The outcome? Let's just say we were convinced,' he says.

You can get cynical about any trade body pulling rabbits out of the hat to 'prove' that its particular medium is 'the one', but in this case the numbers do seem compelling.

Figures accepted by Guinness showed that newspapers alone generated 2.3% of sales during the campaign and a further 4% in the 12 weeks that followed. This is according to dunnhumby analysis of Tesco Clubcard data. Among those who bought three or more papers, presumably all containing the ads, the post-campaign sales increase was 5.4%.

Carat ICE Modelling confirmed that papers drove incremental 'preference and consideration' and Millward Brown Brand Dynamics showed TV and papers strengthened equity all the way to 'bonding' - something TV on its own does not do, and which is said to be directly correlated to market share.

The neuroscientists have been trotted out again to show that brand impact, which includes factors such as core messages and affinity, and ad impact were higher than that of TV. Seeing the combination of TV and papers created 788% higher brand impact than seeing TV ads alone, they claimed. For good measure, multiple insertions in papers also had a powerful effect on brand reappraisal.

The numbers are so dramatic and potentially beneficial that it is up to rival media, or marketing sceptics, to disprove them.

Now that the nationals are mastering the art of promoting their advertising clout, the next big trick is to establish how to sell papers to the public.

The little pick-me-up from Guinness comes at just the right time for the newspaper industry. The Advertising Association's long-range forecasts, published this week, suggest that press adspend, on its more pessimistic assumption, could fall by £1.6bn by 2019. The forecasts, produced by the World Advertising Research Centre, suggest the directories sector and regional newspapers will be hardest hit, with nationals' ad revenues down only slightly.

The future is hardly ever inevitable - or easy to accurately predict. One thing can be forecast with accuracy, however: nobody in the newspaper industry should wait around in the hope that good things might happen one day.


- Toshiba was formed by the merging of two companies in 1939.

- The first, Tanaka Seizosho, was Japan's first manufacturer of telegraphic equipment, established in 1875 by Hisashige Tanaka.

- In 1904, it was renamed Shibaura Seisakusho and became a manufacturer of heavy electrical machinery.

- The second firm, Hakunetsusha, was established in 1890 and was Japan's first producer of incandescent electric lamps. It was renamed Tokyo Denki in 1899.

- The merger in 1939 of Shibaura Seisakusho and Tokyo Denki resulted in the creation of Tokyo Shibaura Denki. The company became known by the contracted moniker 'Toshiba', which became its official name in 1978.

- Toshiba's achievements include producing the world's fastest lifts, which can travel at 1000m a minute.


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