July 3, 2014 Last Updated 8:42 am

New research report says tablet magazine ads enjoy same level of reader recall as print

GfK MRI Starch Advertising Research analyzed reader recall of 28,624 magazine ads in 805 tablet magazine issues published in 2013

Press Release:

NEW YORK, NY – June 3, 2014 — As marketers search for new ways to bring their brands to life for high-value target audiences, a GfK analysis suggests that tablet magazine advertising can add impact to print and other campaigns. According to the new study by GfK MRI Starch® Advertising Research, advertisements in tablet versions of consumer magazines have the same level of reader recall, on average, as print magazine ads – and reach desirable younger readers with high incomes and engagement.

When compared to Starch Syndicated consumer print recall data, the findings show that the average level of reader recall for both print and digital ads in 2013 was 52%. In addition, the top “Noted” digital magazine ads were recalled by over 80% of readers – in line with the most effective print ads.

VF-ads-iPadStarch analyzed reader recall of 28,624 magazine ads in 805 tablet magazine issues published in 2013. People surveyed online were asked whether they recalled having read (“Noted”) particular ads and whether they had interacted with ads that contained interactive features.

Starch data also shows that, for 44 tablet editions studied, nearly half (48%) of readers have household incomes of $75,000 a year or more, and more than half (52%) are young adults (ages 18 to 34).

Tablet edition readers also appreciate the digital magazine format and see advertising as an essential part of the magazine experience. Among those who recalled at least one ad from a given digital magazine, 62% gave that magazine high marks (a 5 or 6 rating out of 6) for these key statements:

  • “The interactive features help me learn more about the products/services,”
  • “The ads in this publication are valuable sources of new information,” and
  • “I read this publication as much for the ads as for the articles.”

“We have found that tablet magazine readers not only are engaged with the editorial and advertising content, but that digital ads have the power to grab attention,” said Mickey Galin, EVP, GfK Starch Advertising Research. “This speaks to what is most likely unrecognized value in digital magazine advertising, and the ability of tablet ads to raise the effectiveness of print/digital campaigns. We see that both static and interactive tablet ads are able to capture readers’ attention and earn strong ‘Noted’ scores.”

Not all of the top Noted ads were endemic to the publications in which they appeared (for example, a car ad in an automotive publication). When it comes to the highest digital and print Noted scores across product categories, household products predominantly rise to the top, as opposed to items like automobiles and luxury goods. Below are the top five categories, along with the average Noted score for each category.


Vegetable Juices (66%); Candy & Mints (64%); Food & Beverage, Discount Department Store (64%); Soups (63%); Home & Building, Department Store (63%); and Department Stores, 63%).


Home & Building, Department Store (64%); Candy & Mints (63%); Vegetable Juices, (61%); Food Wraps, Foils & Bags (61%); Household Soaps, Cleansers & Polishes (61%); and Department Stores (61%).

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