‘Touching is Believing’ - the power of touch and why it matters to advertisers and brands alike


A few weeks ago, Newsworks presented the results of their latest study, ‘Touching is Believing’, which attempts to measure a form of specific engagement with advertising: touch. Isabel Cockroft, Account Director at Amplifi @ Carat, takes a look at the results of this research and what we can learn from it.

Isabel Cockroft Isabel Cockroft Account Director Amplifi

Newsworks’ 'Touching is Believing' research has proved to make a powerful case for giving touch increased consideration. It showcases how tactile advertising (i.e. print and tablet) makes the brand feel more trustworthy and sincere (+41%) and heightens perceptions of brand confidence (+30%) and reliability (+30%). Ultimately ads that are touched achieve a 28% spontaneous recall than those not touched.

The research also shares learnings on how creative and formats can engineer touch, such as a life-size imagery (like touching the real thing), and interactive ads, be they in tablet, or creative display. Life-size pictures in tablet ads convey tangibility and trigger more interaction and a stronger response across all brand measures. Spontaneous awareness is 33% higher than for a non-touch platform; perceptions that the brand is high quality go up by 16% and purchase intent increases by 25%.

Convinced of the benefits, it’s clear that in an increasingly virtual world, touch has become a virtue and is an extremely undervalued one at that. In Media and advertising our sense of touch is often overlooked; we discuss and measure opportunities to see but not opportunities to touch. One has to pose the question: should we be including an OTT method?

For those passionate about newsbrands and who are interested in their development, this provides another strong reason for them to be considered at the heart of any multi-dimensional campaign.

This research really helps to bolster our press rationales. It should be shared with clients, planning teams and creative agencies alike as it can certainly inform the process from the beginning. This is an education piece and has some robust figures we should include on our rationales. It has shown the ability to increase scores across various KPIs and so those that accept the potential benefits could gain a competitive advantage in their sectors.

Main takeouts:

  • Touch is a vital sense – it creates tangibility for messages while at the same time being a catalyst for emotional connection.
  • The touchable format of newspapers and tablets increases reader confidence, satisfaction, reliability and trust in advertised brands
  • Creative that encourages people to touch a print ad produces even stronger brand impressions. Touching print ads increases people's belief that the brand is honest and sincere by 41%, quality perceptions by 20% and purchase intent by 24%
Isabel Cockroft Isabel Cockroft Account Director Amplifi
^Back to Top