Ipsos Reid poll bolsters value of newspapers

A funny thing happened when the Canadian Newspaper Association engaged the pollster to run a fun Valentine's Day survey.

Sometimes when you’re fishing for (comparative) minnows, you end up landing a monster marlin. That’s pretty much what happened recently when the Canadian Newspaper Association commissioned Ipsos Reid to seek national data to plug into what was to have been a fun Valentine’s Day survey.

While the pollster’s operatives were asking softball questions about Canadians’ preferences for their ideal mate, they also threw in a few other queries. And now, based on respondents’ answers, the CNA is crowing about how well ‘old media’ newspapers are faring alongside today’s flashier electronic options. Released yesterday, the Perfect Partner poll results corroborate that:

▪ Newspapers engage their readers: Almost two-thirds (61%) of both male and female respondents indicated that, if they had a choice, they’d rather look through the ads in the newspaper than watch commercials on TV. The same was true across all age demographics, including the 18-34s (55%). In addition, almost half (45%) indicated there are some days when they read the newspaper as much for the ads as for the content.

▪ Newspapers are an ideal way to reach families with children: 76% of households with children state that newspapers are a planned destination for ad information. Additionally, 73% of the same group agreed with the statement that they enjoy the interaction with ads in the newspaper.

▪ All readers enjoy the interaction with ads in the newspaper: two-thirds (66%) said they enjoy the page advertising and product/service inserts that come with newspapers.

▪ Newspapers are a trusted resource: Two-thirds (64%) often keep inserts and flyers around for a few days so they can re-read what’s being offered for sale and what’s on special. This finding was consistently strong across all Canadian provinces.

▪ Timeliness in newspaper advertising is hugely important to readers: Seven in 10 (68%) indicated that when there are special holidays or weekends (such as Christmas, Boxing Day, Valentine’s Day and Easter), they specifically look through the newspaper to find the best sales.

▪ Newspapers are a valued source for information: Half (49%) indicated that they look through the advertising in newspapers to get ideas about what to buy people for special occasions like birthdays, engagements, weddings or anniversaries. This is slightly more the case with women (52%) than with men (46%).

‘These findings may suggest that, just as we thought, new media may not replace old media,’ says an obviously gratified John Wright, Ipsos Reid’s SVP. ‘It may simply mean that Canadians will go to the most effective source among a greater variety of options. And the source for advertisers seems to be newspapers above all.’