Scientific proof that newspapers are better than McDonald’s, Google or Nike

Regular readers will already be aware that Dr Mumbo is a big fan of The Newspaper Works’ light touch approach to gently promoting the medium’s positive atttributes.  

So he commends the video that the industry body has uploaded to YouTube revealing details of its latest research, and the graph that apppears at about the one minute mark.

It would seem that newspapers are better than Nike, McDonald’s, Holden, Target and Microsoft. And are streets ahead of Google and YouTube. And if you keep watching the graph, newspapers gradually soar even further ahead with every moment that passes.

With science on newspapers’ side, it’s hard to understand why anybody thinks that papers have a problem.


  1. Tim1
    3 Mar 10
    10:44 am

  2. ‘conducted with over 1000 Australian residents’. Woah. Even closed panel survey methodology can do better than that.

  3. Foobar
    3 Mar 10
    10:52 am

  4. Not really sure why/how they can compare “print media” to an actual company / brand. A newspaper is hardly “a brand”. Apples and oranges.

    Also, wasn’t this the same propaganda machine that released some erm..”propaganda” of dodgy, supposed testimonials, that were in actual fact, possible answers from the survey.

    Smacks of desperation.

  5. Scott Taylor
    3 Mar 10
    12:08 pm

  6. Agree with Foobar – some pretty illoogical comparisons here.

    Disagree with Tim1 – no amount of sample can rectify shonky research or analysis…and since when is 1000 a small sample size?

  7. Tom
    3 Mar 10
    1:25 pm

  8. I just love the irony in that they’re using youtube to prove how relevant newspapers are.

  9. Gezza
    3 Mar 10
    1:49 pm

  10. I still hate the VO talent they’ve used.

  11. Gezza
    3 Mar 10
    1:50 pm

  12. Which is a shame as the content and graphics are pretty good otherwise. I like my newspaper more than a big mac and more than a pair of shoes. Why is that such a stretch?

  13. Tim1
    3 Mar 10
    1:54 pm

  14. Scott, 1000 as a sample size is tiny in the Experiean Hitwise context – 3 million plus Australians a day from memory.

    Then of course there’s Google, whether trend or keyword anlaysis.

    Both are much larger datasets, sampled more often and from actual use – consumer demand – as opposed to (potentially) leading questions. I know which I’d bet on.

    Agree re the apples and oranges too. I don’t look to Nike for reportage or analysis.

  15. Ben
    3 Mar 10
    1:58 pm

  16. cmon guys surely we have better material than this lazy print/newspaper bashing

  17. dogwithabone
    3 Mar 10
    3:18 pm

  18. The research results seem to merely indicate that newspaper BRANDS are ‘reputable’ and ‘dynamic’.
    And we want to question that finding?
    Next research will show that the ABC is more ‘impartial’ than other TV and radio stations and we’ll all be gobsmacked. Not saying that some newspapers don’t push an agenda, but surely ‘reputable’ is one area where newspaper brands SHOULD have it over other media?

  19. Anonymous
    3 Mar 10
    3:55 pm

  20. does Dr Mumbo always talk about himself in the second person?

    should we call for help?

  21. Scott Taylor
    3 Mar 10
    4:18 pm

  22. @Tim1 True, those provide larger sample sizes, but I’m not sure they fit the bill when looking to measure sentiment, trust or other emotional connections to brands/mediums (the argument of whether these are useful measures or not in this case aside).

    Think you put it rather well with your point about (potentially) leading questions. Just make sure your research is good in the first place and your sample size of 1000 should be plenty.

  23. Brand man
    3 Mar 10
    10:27 pm

  24. @ Foobar, seems a surprise you don’t think a newspaper has a brand. Of all digital brands I’d have to say newspaper brands are one of the strongest online and offline brands. Their problem is getting the same revenue out of the same brand on a different platform.

  25. John Grono
    3 Mar 10
    10:35 pm

  26. Agree with Scott on this one. I’ll take a well constructed representative n=1,000 over an n=3,000,000 which excludes half of Australia any day.

    Disagree with Foobar “A newspaper is hardly a brand”. Hello. Someone put the lights back on please! New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Times, Pravda, Sydney Morning Herald … none of those are brands? Give me a break!

  27. sven
    4 Mar 10
    3:05 pm

  28. some heads need to be pulled out of bums here.

    Foobar – the fact that you don’t understand that newspaper mastheads are brands revokes your license to comment on this thread

    There’s also no irony in using youtube to advertise newspapers. Newspapers have advertised radio for years. Outdoor advertises newspapers. Other media are used to advertise media.

    not every consumer in the world is a 22 year old egotist who has seen little more of life than what’s showing on his/her monitor for 23 hours a day

  29. Scott Taylor
    4 Mar 10
    3:21 pm

  30. True, newspapers are brands, but i don’t think this research is served all that well by comparing the generic term ‘newspaper’ with more specific brands like nike, google etc.

    Maybe the research question wasn’t asked that way, but that’s the way it’s being presented for mine.

  31. Foobar
    4 Mar 10
    3:26 pm

  32. Sven. Are we still talking about this? It was sooo yesterday. I’m guessing you still get the paper delivered to you daily?

    What is a newspaper? It’s a delivery vehicle for “news” (I use the term loosely) and advertising. That’s hardly a brand. Even if you want to use the word in its literal sense, you can’t then go and compare SMH to Starbucks/Nike – they’re not even in the same ballpark.

  33. John Grono
    4 Mar 10
    3:40 pm

  34. Sven – harsh but fair … and it gave me a chuckle.

    Foobar. May I ask the question, “what is Google”? To use your line of ‘reasoning’, it is merely a delivery vehicle for a “search”. So that makes Google NOT a brand either? By extension you are saying that what is probably the fastest growing brand in the world is not a brand? That is just plain illogical.

    And Scott, I agree if they lined “newspaper” up against “Nike” or “Starbucks” they have mixed’n’matched categories with brands which is an absolute no-no! They either have to ask “newspapers” against “television”, “coffee”, “sports shoes” (all categories) … or “SMH” up against, “Nine”, “Starbucks”, “Nike” etc (all brands).

    Maybe The Newspaper Works or their research agency can clarify the way the questions were presented to the respondents.

  35. DS
    4 Mar 10
    4:06 pm

  36. Brand – n. 1. a. a particular make of goods. b. an identifying trade mark, label, etc.

    Surely being able to articulate a preference for one thing over another naturally generates distinctions i.e. identifying marks or labels. If someone enjoys reading a newspaper over eating a Big Mac then that has to be a higher preference for that brand.

    Sorry Foobar, I wont be buying your brand

  37. mumbrella
    4 Mar 10
    4:11 pm

  38. Hi anonymous (comment 10),

    Dr Mumbo tells me that he generally prefers the second or thrid person but never the first. He’s a very odd man.


    Tim – Mumbrella