Neuroscience study proves effectiveness.

News publisher’s have long suspected that newspapers command an extremely high level of attention from their readers, now they have the scientific evidence to prove it.

Rather than relying on people’s responses to survey questions, researchers can now take the guess work out and analyse what is actually happening by using neuroscience, the study of the brain, to figure out how our brains respond when we’re reading a newspaper.

Last year the NPA, the industry body that champions the news media industry of New Zealand, engaged neuromarketing company Neuro-Insight Australia to conduct a study using brain-imaging technology on 120 New Zealanders to measure how their brains responded and how much they remembered.

The results showed that when people read a newspaper they are far more focussed, with higher levels of emotional intensity in both the stories and the advertising than while watching TV. 

Professor Richard Silberstein, who has 40 years of neuroscience research experience and is the chair of the company who conducted the research, said memory encoding was most strongly linked to future behaviour.  “Memory encoding has been validated to drive sales and behaviour change so it’s a very important measure in terms of determining effectiveness.”

The NPA had become aware of the growing interest in neuroscience when they learned of a UK study which initiated a rethink on digital media buying.  The UK study showed that people who viewed advertising on premium news sites were far more likely to store advertising to their long-term memory than when people viewed advertising on social media.

This insight, coupled with findings from a trust study undertaken by Colmar Brunton in 2017 for the NPA, which found three times more people trust ads they see in newspapers versus ads on social media, reinforces the importance of where you place your ads. If you want people to believe your advertising, then it makes sense to put it in a trusted environment.

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