Introduction and test objective Ford has led the UK market in new car sales for over 35 years. To sustain market leadership, it’s essential that as many people as possible put Ford on their shortlist when they are thinking about buying a new car. This case study examines the role that newspapers played, alongside other media, in increasing consideration of Ford.Communications strategy“This campaign was developed to bring to life Ford’s core principles of offering exceptional technologies & value for money pricing, both as standard. We call this dual approach ‘The Ford Standard’, establishing Ford’s ongoing commitment to bringing you more as standard. The creative device used in this brand campaign is the ‘&’ sign which is central to all the communications.”Ford of BritainMedia strategyFord used a variety of media to communicate the Ford Standard proposition:• TV was the primary medium for creating emotional engagement, as well as delivering high reach and visibility• Radio supported TV, providing engagement and information• National print newspapers’ role was to provide depth of information and a strong call to action• Outdoor was chosen to provide impact and on street presence• Selected digital newspapers were added later in the campaign, to test how presence in multiple newspaper formats could help drive people to the Ford website; with the ultimate aim of converting active consideration to test drive and purchase
Research method1.Millward Brown CrossMedia™ modelling was used to analyse the effectiveness of the Ford campaign, and determine the contribution of each media element to increasing key brand measures.* Digital newspapers were excluded from the main model as low spend meant that not enough people in the sample had cookies for analysis. The model accounted for the effects of other Ford communications that ran during the period, but details are not reported here.2.Since digital newspapers could not be included in the main model, a separate analysis of the response was commissioned using Nielsen UKOM data.*For full CrossMedia™ methodology call us, or go to nmauk.co.uk/fordMillward Brown CrossMedia™ Sample2000 adults aged 18-65 who currently hold, or are applying for a UK driving licence. All were open to buying a brand new car.Each respondent answered detailed media consumption questions, so that frequency of exposure to each medium could be assessed. By comparing respondents’ varying levels of exposure to the different media elements, the model identifies the extent to which each medium affects changes in brand measures.
All elements of the media mix have their role, but newspapers proved themselves to have a unique ability to increase consideration in this test. Newspapers accounted for 16% of the Ford campaign spend, but drove 62% of the increase in “definitely consider” Ford at the next purchase occasion.
Newspapers were by far the most cost-efficient medium for driving Ford consideration. Outdoor and newspapers carried similar creative, but newspapers were a much more powerful – and therefore significantly cheaper – environment for affecting brand consideration.
Millward Brown CrossMedia™ modelling showed that the inclusion of newspapers was vital to increasing Ford brand measures. The graph shows the build in definite consideration for the total campaign including newspapers (pink line), compared with the increase for the campaign excluding the newspaper effect (blue line). Including newspapers ensured the impact on definite consideration was both stronger and more immediate.
Brand advocacy is a key measure in the motors market, as purchasers seek opinions of family and friends, as well as experts. All media contributed to a substantial increase in advocacy – people who would definitely recommend Ford to others. Newspapers performed strongly, accounting for 28% of the increase in recommendation. Newspapers and outdoor were also the lowest cost media for boosting recommendation.
Newspaper advertising prompted the largest increases in core brand measures, at the lowest cost.The diagram shows the size and cost of uplifts in core brand measures delivered by each medium used in the Ford campaign:• Media that generated the largest uplifts are towards the right of the diagram• Media that appear lower on the diagram produced uplifts at a lower costThe ideal position is the lower right quadrant – high uplift at low cost. Newspapers are the only medium in this position. TV is fairly good at increasing core brand measures, but at a higher cost.
In order to increase consideration of Ford, it was important that the campaign improved both rational and emotional perceptions of the Ford brand. Newspaper advertising is not always associated with changing brand perceptions. However, a strong brand idea executed in newspapers can affect brand values as well as carrying detailed commmunication. Newspapers were particularly strong at improving perceptions of Ford’s quality, modernity and value. Radio was very cost-effective at shifting more emotional associations, including trustworthy, confident and progressive.TV also influenced more emotional impressions of the Ford brand, including desirability and style.
Newspaper ads need to grab attention and interest very quickly – or risk readers turning the page. Ford newspaper ads were eye-catching and car drivers considered the campaign to be highly involving, interesting and engaging.
The six Ford newspaper executions were extremely well-branded, impactful and delivered high levels of new news. Total campaign recognition built to 41%. TV and radio recognition levels were around respective norms.
Newspapers break stories that surprise us and make us re-evaluate our beliefs. This context affects how we consume ads, because the ads are part of the newspaper reading experience (not separated off into breaks). The Ford Standard newspaper campaign created higher levels of brand re-appraisal than other broadcast media.Nearly two-thirds of people who saw the newspaper advertising reassessed their views of Ford, compared with around half of those exposed to TV or radio commercials.
Newspapers set the national agenda and encourage people to take immediate action – whether it’s signing a campaigning petition, checking out “best buys” or seeking out the latest “must-have” item/music/film.Newspaper ads also benefit from this sense of importance and urgency. For Ford, call to action from newspaper ads was 38% higher than for TV.This finding is common for all NMA effectiveness tests. The average difference in call to action for newspapers compared to TV is +16% points (20 tests).
Campaigns work more effectively in newspapers than single ads. Multiple executions build a stronger and more detailed story than could be conveyed in just one ad. Readers increase their understanding of the intended message when they see different executions.Ford’s advertising communicated more strongly as people saw a greater number of different executions.Among people who had seen one or two executions, just over half agreed strongly that the advertising suggested “Ford gives you more features as standard”. Among those who had seen six different ads, communication of this key message rose to almost nine in ten.Similarly, communication that Ford cars have the latest technology, and that Ford is an innovative brand, rose sharply as people saw more executions.
Big, long running newspaper stories use new angles, new information, new pictures and new opinion to keep them fresh and significant for readers.Newspaper advertising can also make the brand story more compelling and interesting by using a number of different, but linked executions.Re-appraisal and call to action measures for Ford intensified as more executions were seen. The more Ford executions people saw, the more likely they were to re-think their opinions of Ford; and the more likely they were to feel that Ford offered them a reason to purchase.
It was not possible to account for effects of the digital newspaper campaign in CrossMedia™ modelling as insufficient numbers in the sample had cookies. However, Nielsen were able to analyse online behaviour among those exposed to the advertisements.Nielsen analysis showed that exposure to Ford digital executions on newspaper websites boosted unique visitors to Ford UK website by 12.5%.Analysis also indicated that the digital newspaper campaign increased engagement within the Ford website. There was a 17.4% increase in pages visited and a 22.3% increase in time spent on the website compared with an unexposed control sample.There was also an increased likelihood among people exposed to the digital newspaper campaign to search for Ford related material and end up on the Ford website.
The Ford Standard campaign successfully reached 98% of the target audience of adults 18-65 who hold, or are applying for, a UK driving licence. The media mix employed for the Ford Standard campaign resulted in positive uplifts across all brand measures, with different media working in different ways:Newspapers played a vital role in directly increasing consideration and recommendation of Ford, by changing perceptions of the Ford brand. Newspapers delivered high reach, complementing the TV viewer profile – for example improving cover and frequency among lighter TV viewing groups, such as men, ABs and those living in London. TV achieved high reach (84% of target) and frequency. TV’s strength lay in building more emotional measures – brand personality and feelings associated with Ford. TV had some direct impact on consideration and recommendation, but at a much lower level, and higher cost, than newspapers.Radio had lower reach but was more cost-efficient at building emotional measures. Radio’s impact on consideration and recommendation was also lower, and more costly, than newspapers.Outdoor achieved high reach and primarily boosted recommendation of Ford. Newspapers were allocated 16% of the media budget, a third of the amount that was spent on TV, and 2% points less than radio and outdoor (both 18%). Despite lower spend, newspapers delivered the highest payback on investment in terms of increasing Ford’s key brand measures.
An important reason for newspapers’ strong performance was the use of multiple executions. This strategy helped strengthen and deepen communication. The campaign also created higher levels of re-appraisal and call to action as people saw more executions.Newspapers reach their audience fast – 96% of the total cover will be achieved in one day. Readers are also highly loyal. Therefore it is important that campaigns are frequently refreshed, to prevent wear-out. There is an increase in production costs for supplying multiple executions. However, this is offset by a significantly better campaign performance than can be achieved by one execution only.Multiple executions meant consideration continued to build as the campaign progressed. Millward Brown CrossMedia™ analysis showed that newspapers were still increasing consideration of Ford up to 17 opportunities to see (OTS).
The Ford study adds to the NMA’s bank of Effectiveness Case studies that consistently demonstrate the impact of newspapers on consideration. Pre-post studies for 18 brands using TV and newspapers show that the average increase in consideration is more than tripled when newspapers are added. Recent tests using Millward Brown CrossMedia™ modelling for E.ON and NESCAFÉ® multi-media campaigns also demonstrate that newspapers are both powerful and highly cost-effective at raising consideration.
Newsworks Ford effectiveness
Newspapers reveal their unrivalled ability to increase the
numbers of buyers who would „definitely consider‟ a ford
CrossMedia™ research helped us
identify the specific role of
newspapers in our communications
planning and confirmed their value
in ensuring Ford is high on the
shortlists of our car purchasers.
Primary Brand Research Manager
Ford of Europe
Our integrated multi-media campaign was
carefully planned to ensure that each
channel‟s performance was optimised, and
the whole campaign delivered successful
results for the Ford brand.
With highly effective creative executions
and newspapers‟ ability to affect consumer
opinions, we were able to maximise the
power of the campaign.
Advertising and Sponsorship Manager
Ford of Britain
The client‟s view
Ford‟s successful multi-media campaign increased all brand measures, with clearly defined benefits
from each medium used. The test revealed compelling insight into the impact of newspapers:
• Newspapers are the most cost-effective medium for driving consideration
– Newspapers had the strongest effect on „definitely consider‟ Ford, driving 62% of the uplift,
although accounting for only 16% of media spend
• Newspapers are highly cost efficient at moving the needle on brand measures
– Newspapers also contributed strongly to higher levels of recommendation and shifting brand perceptions.
Overall, newspapers delivered the biggest effects on core brand measures, at the lowest cost
• Newspapers are brilliant for getting information across
– Brand campaigns which provide the evidence and benefits that trigger people to purchase work
particularly well in newspapers
• Multiple executions deliver a multiplier response
– The more newspaper executions people saw, the more deeply the campaign communicated.
Re-appraisal and call to action also increased
• Newspaper digital advertising drives deeper involvement with the brand
– Extending the newspaper campaign into digital formats boosted Ford website visits and engagement
Encourage as many people as possible to put Ford on their shortlist when buying a new car
Bring to life Ford‟s core principles of offering exceptional technologies & value for money
pricing, both as standard.
TV – emotional engagement, high reach and visibility
Radio – engagement and information
Newspapers – depth of information and call to action
Outdoor – impact and on street presence
Digital newspapers – drive website traffic (added later, low spend)
Jun 11 July 11 Aug 11 Sept 11 £m
Adults aged 18-65
Digital newspapers 0.07
Nielsen Digital tracking
Research method & sample
2000 adults aged 18-65 who currently hold or applying for a UK driving
licence. Open to buying a brand new car
Millward Brown‟s CrossMedia™ modelling analysed effectiveness of
multi-media campaign, and determined the contribution of each element
Detailed media consumption data frequency of exposure to each
medium for each respondent compare differing responses when
exposed to different media and different OTS how much each
medium affects changes in brand measures
Digital newspapers excluded from main model as too few cookies in
sample, so special digital newspaper analysis using Nielsen UKOM data
National newspapers are the most powerful medium for driving definite consideration of Ford
Share of spend*
*Digital newspapers excluded as reach too low
Share of uplift in “definitely consider” Ford
Newspapers are the lowest cost medium for driving Ford consideration
Cost of 1% uplift in Ford consideration
Newspapers Radio TV
Newspapers‟ impact could not be achieved other media in the campaign
What would happen to definite consideration of Ford if newspapers were excluded?
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Total media contribution
Newspapers also encourage increased recommendation
Share of spend*
*Digital newspapers excluded as reach too low
Share of uplift in “definitely recommend” Ford
Newspapers deliver big effects at low cost
Cost efficiency versus uplift
Average across Ford awareness, consideration, recommendation and opinion metrics
Size of uplift (indexed)
0 50 100 150 200
Newspapers contribute to improvements in Ford brand perceptions
Brand perception statements – overall effect across
37 image, personality and feelings statements
Share or upliftShare or spend
Newspaper ads are actively engaging
Newspaper involvement diagnostics
MB UK Norm
Newsworthy, strongly-branded newspaper campaign achieves high recognition
Newspaper ad recognition
Any „Ford Standard‟ newspaper ad Millward Brown print norm (326 ads)
Newspaper ads prompt higher levels of re-appraisal
Advertising measures – Re-appraisal
Surprising and gets me to think differently about Ford
Top 2 Box %*
Newspaper ads create stronger call to action
Advertising measures – Call to action
Gives me a reason to go out and buy a Ford
Top 2 Box %
Newspaper ad communication strengthened by multiple executions
Communication of newspaper ads
% answering strongly suggests
Ford gives you more features as standard
Ford cars come with the latest technology
Ford are an innovative brand 62
1-2 ads 3-5 ads All 6 ads
Re-appraisal and call to action boosted by multiple newspaper executions
Surprising and gets me to think
differently about Ford
Call to action
Gives me a reason to go out
and buy a Ford
1-2 ads 3-5 ads All 6 ads
Ford website visits and engagement boosted by digital newspapers
Increases among exposed versus control (unexposed) matched sample
on Ford website
on Ford website
Ford‟s multi-media campaign builds reach and improves brand metrics
TV Newspapers Outdoor Radio
• Strongest impact on emotional measures
• Impact on consideration and
recommendation lower than newspapers,
and at much higher cost
• Highly cost-efficient for building emotional
• Impact on consideration and
recommendation lower than newspapers,
and at higher cost
• Primarily boosted recommendation
• Drove majority (62%) of consideration,
at lowest cost
• Best payback on investment for increasing
key Ford measures
Multiple newspaper executions built consideration through the campaign
Frequency curve for “definite” consideration
Ford study builds further evidence of newspapers‟ effect on consideration
Pre-post studies for 18 brands show
average increase in consideration more
than tripled when people see
newspaper advertising as well as TV
Pre-post % point increase in consideration
Average across 18 brand tests
Source: Millward Brown
TV solus TV + NP
Ford study build further evidence of newspapers‟ effect on consideration
Millward Brown CrossMedia™ modelling for
E.ON and NESCAFÉ campaigns demonstrate
how newspapers are both powerful and cost-
effective at raising consideration
Newspapers accounted for 18% of spend but
delivered 31% of increase in consideration
Newspapers accounted for 15% of spend but
delivered 32% of increase in customer
Cost of 1% uplift in NESCAFÉ consideration
Newspapers TV Outdoor