From Print to Web: The Magazine Ads That Best Drove Readers to Websites

Wide Range of Products Succeeds in Moving Consumers From One Medium to Another

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Nearly a century of research has shown how print-magazine ads can best grab readers' attention: the optimal mix of colors, compelling copy, uncluttered formats and other graphical techniques. But how well can print compel consumers to actions that help drive purchases -- like visiting websites?

The latest data from GfK MRI Starch Advertising Research show that ads for a wide range of product categories, from cosmetics to cruises, were effective in prompting consumers to visit websites. Endemic ads -- highly targeted messages in publications whose editorial content is closely related to the ads -- comprise just over half of these top performers.

This research covered 30,352 one-page, four-color ads in the first half of this year, surveying consumers about which ads they noted and, of those, which drove them to advertisers' websites.

Among those who noted any given ad, an average of 13% wound up going to the marketer's website. For the ads described below, that average was north of 35%.

Here are 11 ads from across magazine genres that stood out for the percentage of readers who noted an ad and visited the marketer's website as a result.

Mickey Galin is exec VP at GfK MRI Starch Advertising Research.
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