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Hearst: The power of positivity

FIPP Award Winner: Positive people buy advertised products

Positivity really does matter for advertising: positive people consuming positive media are much more engaged, open-minded, purposeful and productive. They take more action and are more likely to buy advertised products. This is the main conclusion of the Gold Award winning research from Hearst in the UK. Based on these insights Hearst designed a positivity index and started a new ad product and proposition: Hearst Purpose.

“We instinctively knew that it must be good for brands to appear amongst positive content in front of people who were feeling more positive”, says Hearst in their Award entry. But instinct isn’t always enough to turn the heads of the media and client community. The results from this research supported their instincts and hypothesis.

Hearst defines their purpose as helping people get more out of life. “Every piece of content we create, experience we deliver, product and service we provide is designed to help consumers enjoy their lives more and get so much more from it. We are a beacon of positivity in a turbulent and transformational world.”

Are positive people more attractive?

The company asked Theobalds Road consulting to help answer the following questions:
1.Are there any positive people out there in the UK, if so, who are they and how many are there?
2. Are positive people more attractive to advertisers. If so, why?
3. And finally which media brands deliver the most positive media experiences and audiences?

Watch the video for a short summary of the results

They found that 58% of the UK public have a positive outlook in life. 77% of these take some form of action after consuming media compared to 63% of those feeling less positive (+22% higher). They are also 90% more likely to try new things and 35% more likely to buy an advertised product.

When it comes to advertising, we see an 18% increase in brand favourability and a 6% increase in brand consideration.  Hearst And Theobalds Road could prove that by increasing brand consideration by 6% points this leads on average, to a 4% improvement in an ad campaign’s ROI. The conclusion is clear, if you want your advertising to work harder then engage with positive people.

Hearst_The Power of Positivity_2. Positive ROI_Hearst (002) (1)

Hearst Purpose turns positivity to profit

In addition, the findings gave Hearst permission to launch a brand new ad product and proposition around Hearst being a force for good: Hearst Purpose. A brand can work with the company to promote and support a good cause that can help consumers get more out of life. This has resulted in over £2 million of new revenue in 2019 alone. Positivity really does work.

They were also able to show that 69% of Hearst consumers had a positive outlook on life and that their brands provided the most positive experiences. Hearst consumers take more action after consuming their content than all the major radio, TV, social and newspaper brands surveyed. Hearst launched the first media positivity index, charting how positive consumers are feeling when engaging with different types of media.

Hearst_The Power of Positivity_4. Hearst positivity index (002) (2)

More information on this research here.

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