Insight from RAMetrics
Newspapers have been innovating for years. Their creative toolkits will show a wide array of exciting formats, from z-shaped ads to scented ink, cascades to translucent paper. But let’s take it back to the basics.
Does size matter? Is bigger better? We’ve always had a gut-feeling about the answer to this question – but now we have proof. Using the RAMetrics database, we examined the effectiveness of ad sizes in successfully driving recall, attention/recognition, engagement and action measures.
Large and in charge
It’s clear larger ads are noticed more, with 78% of readers recalling cover wraps and 69% recalling full page ads (vs 56% for half page ads and 65% for quarter page). In almost every metric you will get significantly better results from full page ads compared to their smaller counterparts.
- Bigger page ads are given more attention: 46% of readers paid close attention to cover wraps, compared to 37% for half page ads and 39% for quarter page ads.
- They are easier to understand: 71% found full page ads easy to understand, whereas 66% felt the same about half page.
- Bigger ads are more appealing: 43% of readers found full page ads more appealing versus 38% for half page and 41% for quarter page ads.
- They prompt action: 34% of readers would recommend the company/product if they saw a cover wrap, whereas 32% would for half page ads.
These findings are corroborated by Lumen eye tracking research. Lumen tracks what people are actually looking at when consuming media, how long they spend on pages and ads’ dwell time.
They have found on average full page ads are viewed by 92% of people whereas half page ads are viewed by 81%. Average dwell times are also higher: 3.3 seconds versus 2.2 seconds respectively.
Small is not to be sniffed at
However, the strength of the creative has a major part to play. A great idea in a small space can easily outperform a weaker idea in a big space. In fact, the highest performing quarter page ad is recalled by 86% of readers – significantly higher than the average recall score of 65% for quarter page ads and even 69% for full page ads.
Previous ad testing by Newsworks has shown that the best way to make the most of smaller spaces is to design the ads to fit the space. This sounds simple, but there are many examples where artwork has been “shrunk to fit” where so much has been crammed in that the ad is confusing, hard to look at or looks like too much hard work.
The RAMetrics results give us confirmation on what we’ve always instinctively known: bigger is indeed better. But just because size does matter, the importance of creativity — however big it is — should not be ignored.