Amid the ongoing debate about the risks to brands advertising on news platforms, a recent survey by MAGNA Media Trials and Disney Advertising Sales provided evidence that brands can feel secure about their ads showing up on news—provided the information comes from reliable sources.
In the MAGNA/Disney study, the impact on advertising was very clear: a 21 percent increase in brand favorability, a 25 percent increase in research intent, and a 21 percent increase in purchase intent resulted from ads running “on a high-quality, trusted and well-respected news source.”
The results of the survey confirm the value of the Local News Advertising Inclusion List, a resource created by the Brand Safety Institute (BSI) in partnership with the Local Media Consortium. The Local News Advertising Inclusion List, available free to advertisers, is a compilation of more than 3,000 vetted sources of news information, enabling advertisers to reach consumers on trusted news domains across the United States. “The Local News Advertising Inclusion List allows advertisers with timely messages an opportunity to reach a highly engaged and untapped audience while still providing safeguards,” explained Mike Zaneis, co-founder of the BSI.
The credibility of the news source was of particular importance to affluent consumers: 57 percent of those surveyed said brands should vet news sources before advertising, but that number jumped to 61 percent in households with incomes greater than $100,000. In households with incomes less than $35,000, the number dropped to 52 percent.
Other takeaways from the MAGNA/Disney survey included:
News content provides a lift to consumers’ perception of advertising, with respondents saying ads in news “felt +8% more relevant, +6% more valuable, and +4% more trustworthy compared to non-news content”
“Heavy” news isn’t particularly damaging to brands. In fact, brand favorability rose 7 percent and an intent to recommend the advertised brand was 5 percent higher among, “ads in news perceived as heavy by participants,” according to the study
But messaging was important and depended upon the type of news. When hard news was presented, a “more direct, product focused ad message” led to a favorability increase of 10 percent, a research intent rise of 5 percent and a purchase intent lift of 7 percent. For race and culture news, “a storytelling approach” was preferred by respondents, with an 11 percent rise in favorability and a 10 percent lift in purchase intent.