MRI Starch Communications, a specialist in print-advertising research, has developed an “engagement score” to help identify the best-performing print ads out there. This score combines the percentage of readers who noticed a given ad and the percentage that took any action as a result of seeing the ad.
For this look at the Best Print Ads of Summer 2009, MRI Starch considered 5,307 one-page and two-page ads. It then selected the top ads in each of 10 major product categories. All selected ads were best at attracting reader attention, and readers acted upon these ads at levels above the average for the product category. See what marketers like Ford, Rolex and Olay did this summer to get people to pay attention and respond to their ads.
Creative agency: Lowe, New York
Engagement Score: 146
Category average: 106
As is the case in other executions form the same campaign, this particular ad turned heads by featuring a celebrity endorsement -- an approach that MRI Starch data generally show to be an effective means of gaining reader attention.
The ad also hooks readers with the stopping power of bright colour, a sense of direct eye contact with the model, and benefits-oriented copy, which drives home the considerable value of the product from a health and nutritian perspective.
Creative agency: Kaplan Thaler
Engagement score: 108
Category average: 60
The Liptior ad involves its readers by presenting a slice-of-life story. The ad's copy relates one man's struggle with high cholesterol and how the benefits offered by the advertised product were key in his struggle to restore his health.
MRI Starch data suggest that print ads that communicate the human element are often especially riveting to readers. The earnest and direct look on the model's face, as well as the captivating headline, were likely crucial elements in capturing reader's attention.
Creative agency: Saatch & Saatch
Category: Skin Care Creams, Lotions & Oils
Engagement score 128
Category average: 95
MRI Starch readers study results repeatedly suggest that ads which answer the question: 'What's in it for me?' tend to be compelling to readers, and thus, often receive high levels of attention. A nicely illuminated product shot seals the deal.
Creative agency: JWT
Engagement score: 109
Category average: 84
MRI Starch data generally suggest that ads which show the product with clarity, unhindered by excessive cultter or distracting visual elements often attain high levels of readership.
Creative agency: Fidelity Communications & Advertising
Category: Financial Products & Services
Engagement score: 107
Category average: 76
MRI Starch findings repeatedly suggest that ads which emphasise the human factor -- usually by featuring models, and in particular, when those models are enacting a scene that is possible to relate to in some way -- tend to earn high readership.
This winning Fidelity execution draws much of its attention-getting power by communicating a pressing concern, presenting the advertiser as source of solutions, and by offering a visual enactment of a very human 'slice of life,' which sparked many to take strong notice.
Crative agency: ZIG, Toronto
Category: Vitamins, nutritional supplements & reducing aids
Engagement score: 122
Category average: 77
Of all the creative elements available to advertisers, MRI Starch data indicate that colour is probably the most broadly capable of capturing the eye -- bright primary shades, in particular.
The cartoon, although light in tone still manages to tell a convincing story. The copy is succinct, yet benefits-oriented. A clear image of the product is included.
Category: Dresses, suits & formal wear
Engagement score: 133
Category average: 104
In both image, the contrast provided (light-coloured gowns against dark backgrounds) lends the visual that much ore impact.
The phot illustrations evoke a mood of beauty and sensuality, presenting fine fabrics, jewels, and even flower blossoms, ye they never falter in showing the product with clarity.
Creative agency: Crew Creative, Los Angeles
Category: TV & Cable TV
Engagement score: 143
Category average: 101
MRI Starch readership reports consistently indicate that the inclusion of well-known celebrities and public figures in print ads usually helps to propel reader attention to loftier levels.
Here, attention is likely maximized by the way in which Jada Pinkett Smith stares coolly into the camera, as well as the manner in which the area surrounding her face is softly illuminated.
Creative agency: R&R partners
Category: Resorts & Travel Accommodations
Engagement score: 123
Category average: 90
The way the 'sign' is strongly emblazoned on the page, employing the stark contrast of jet black, white, and bright red, make the ad hard to ignore right from the onset.
And, talk about a call to action -- there is even a dotted line around the periphery of the sign, which invites the reader to take the leap and make his own trip to the advertised destination a reality.
Creative agency: Uniworld Group
Category: Cars & Light Trucks
Engagement Score: 130
Category Average: 91
MRI Starch has suggested that advertisers be especially cautious when segmenting the page into distinctly separate component parts, as the result can sometimes be detrimental to the reader's ability to focus wholly one central focal point.
But if this Ford creative does indeed bend the rules, it does so effectively. The overall impression given by the ad is on that suggests sheer exuberance, power and performance behind the wheel.