Print, TV mix gives Origin energy boost

Combining newspapers and television can make a dramatic impact to a campaign’s effectiveness, writes Brian Rock

CB_Etihad_Origin_DIGITALTwo recent campaign launches have demonstrated how a combination of newspapers and TV can amplify a message and persuade consumers to reconsider a brand. If one of those media elements is missing, then the return on investment can be sub-optimal.

Origin Energy

Earlier this year, Origin Energy launched a new advertising campaign, taking a new strategic and creative approach. Its goal was to convince consumers to think about energy as an essential part of their lives.

Sophie Finn, Origin general manager for brand and digital, said at launch: “While energy is an essential service, people don’t tend to think about it beyond their bill or switching the lights on. We want people to think about energy in a fresh new way.”

The creative took a metaphoric approach, with a recurring image of light-globes packaged as eggs to underline the “Made Fresh Daily” tagline.


Etihad Airways

Etihad’s campaign was its first global brand campaign in three years, building on existing brand values.

Peter Baumgartner, the company’s chief commercial officer, commented on the initiative: “Having focused on product innovation and service excellence, the time is now right to make a bold and confident brand statement. This is not a rebranding exercise, but a continuation of our brand story.”

This ad ran just prior to the launch of the new television campaign. That this ad ran without the benefit of television indirectly provides a useful demonstration of why running ads across media is important.


Brand Equity


Both the Origin and Etihad ads were effective at building Brand Equity, with similar scores in terms of improving familiarity and understanding – more than 50% above the norm. The Etihad ad outperformed the Origin ad in terms of differentiation, but was less effective in making the brand seem appropriate. The impact on Brand Equity was broadly similar.

However, we start to see significant differences on strategic effects.

Strategic RoleMap

Six strategic advertising roles of newspapers have been validated both qualitatively and quantitatively by The Newspaper Works, resulting in the creation of RoleMap. For more information on this map, click here. 


The Etihad ad was notably stronger at creating Affinity (“gives me a good feeling about the brand”) and providing Information. It lagged Origin in terms of stimulating Reappraisal. It had a positive impact, with one in five respondents saying the ad “encourages me to think differently about the brand”. One in four respondents said the Origin ad caused them to reappraise the brand, thus being three and half times more effective than the statistical norm.

A key difference in the result for each advertisement is around the Extension role, which asks respondents if the ad reminds them of the TV advertising.

Our Creative Benchmarking research consistently links newspaper ads to television commercials and so is strongly correlated with effectiveness.  Respondents who make the link are consistently more than twice as likely to Reappraise a brand than those who don’t.

Etihad didn’t get this lift for the simple reason that Etihad wasn’t advertising on TV.

Diagnostics Map


Both ads received double the average scores for visual appeal and they were below the norm on negative diagnostics, particularly with regard to looking like other ads in the category.

This indicates that, as stand-alone newspaper advertisements, the creative executions were seen to be of similar standards. If there’s a difference in the effectiveness on behaviour, it can’t be obviously attributed to the quality of the ads.


Newspapers are recognised as an effective medium for delivering a Call to Action. ActionMap, another proprietary newspaper metric, expands on this strategic role to provide an understanding of the types of action a newspaper ad inspires. For more information on ActionMap, click here.


International air travel and electricity are radically different categories, so a direct comparison could be misleading. However, both ads performed above the all-newspaper norms in memorability, word-of-mouth, and prompting online search, the Origin ad was more effective in motivating readers to actively seek out the brand.

Active search is consistent with a high Reappraisal score, and in this case respondents were almost twice as likely to search out Origin compared with the norm, and over three times more likely compared with the Etihad ad.


These ads are an excellent example of how consistently executing a creative idea across different media improves the overall effectiveness. Both the Etihad and Origin advertisements score well on creative diagnostics and general brand equity measures, but the Etihad ads don’t deliver as strongly on brand reappraisal or active search.

Although differences between the product categories explains some of this, the key difference we find in the data is that the Origin benefits from being a multi-media campaign, a conclusion supported by the strong link between the newspaper ad and the television commercial. This flows on to have an impact on attitudes and behaviour, with respondents reappraising the brand and then actively seeking it out. This is a clear demonstration of how newspapers and TV complement each other, leading to stronger marketing outcomes, a synergy that has been demonstrated time and again in Australian and overseas markets.

The evidence shows the most effective way to leverage a campaign is to run it across different media. Put simply, newspapers + television works.

Quote, Unquote

Readers on Origin

Interesting – I hadn’t thought about the ‘freshness’ of energy before but it makes sense

Very impressive and would like to call for quotation.

The ad looked really beautiful, but even after reading the content I’m still not sure how they are different to other providers

Really great. Really different. Not that there’s a straightforward way to advertise energy, but it’s really nice to see an ad that thinks creatively and doesn’t fall back onto stock images of families around lamps.

Readers on Etihad

Smart – allows them to differentiate themselves from other airlines.

Very luxurious.

It shows off a luxurious seating option on Etihad’s A380s. It certainly looks like a desirable option.

A simple yet effective ad describing exactly the luxury service on offer, not too many words, letting the picture speak for itself.  Obviously not available in economy.



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