The Best-Performing Magazine Ads of the Summer

Starch Identifies the Top 10 Most Engaging Ads

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You might think, or hope, that the most engaging ads always show you something you've never seen before, deliver a brand-new idea or otherwise show the kind of creativity that sometimes makes advertising an art.

Study after study shows that you'd be wrong. There are basic strategies and basic ads that continue to deliver for advertisers' dollars year after year. Context, humor and even that old tactic of making an ad resemble an editorial page all paid off in this latest round of research.

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The Best-Performing Print Advertising of the Summer

For this look at last summer's best print ads, GfK MRI's Starch Advertising Research considered a whopping 27,268 one-page and two-page ads appearing in national consumer magazines from May through August. To help identify the best-performing ads, we developed an "engagement score" which combines the percentage of readers who noted a given ad and the percentage that took any action as a result.

What follows are the 10 ads that were best in their category. They not only had "stopping power" -- getting readers to notice the ad -- but also elicited some sort of response from readers, such as visiting the website, clipping the ad, using or planning to use a coupon, trying or planning to try a recipe, recommending the product or service or purchasing the product or service.

Don't forget the caveat: These ads became the "top" ads of the summer by engaging readers and driving them to some sort of action. There may be other ads which performed better by other measures a particular marketer may have been going for, such as increasing general awareness of a company. But these 10 ads rose to the top of more than 27,000 in terms of engaging and motivating the largest number of readers.

See what brands like M&M, Vaseline and Canon did this summer to get people to pay attention and respond to their ads.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michal Galin is senior VP at Starch Advertising Research, a division of GfK MRI that specializes in measuring print-ad effectiveness. For more information on Starch and ad effectiveness, please visit Starch.
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