Refresh and revive


The ‘refresh and revive’ super-category covers all the things that prepare us for the day ahead, keep us going, perk us up, help us recharge our batteries and restore our bodies at the end of the day. Generally affordable, quite frequently bought items that we choose from a repertoire of favourite brands – although we’re also on the lookout for the new and interesting to add a spark to the routine. It comprises coffee shops and high street restaurants, non-alcoholic drinks, food FMCG, beauty and personal care, health and medicine.

Clients in this category invested around £1.78 billion in media in 2017. Traditionally heavy TV spenders, with other established mass media as secondary support, ‘refresh and revive’ brands allocated 28% of adspend into digital media in 2017. Although lower than other categories, the evidence suggests that this level of online allocation is unwise, as it has led to cuts and underinvestment in the most effective channels for delivering profit. TV is way out ahead for effectiveness, followed by print channels.

Benchmarketing’s analysis shows that, although all cases include some newsbrands in the media mix, low spending in print newsbrands is harming the profit return from the campaign. This results in lower payback for the entire campaign and diminishing returns from over investment in digital media.

To maximise campaign PROI for brands in the ‘refresh and revive’ super-category, Benchmarketing recommend that an average 9% of the total media budget is allocated to print newsbrands and 1% to digital newsbrands.

Currently, ‘refresh and revive’ clients are losing out on £27 million potential profit through underinvesting in newsbrands, particularly print.

Print newsbrands' minimum recommended share of budget
Digital newsbrands' minimum recommended share of budget

Adspend patterns

The total spend allocated to digital display, video and search in the ‘refresh and revive’ super-category was 28% in 2017 and the trend towards online spend is accelerating. TV has been most affected by the move to online media, losing almost 10 share points since 2013. Of the established media, only out of home has grown share during this period.

Newsbrands’ share of advertising expenditure has stabilised in the last two years at around 4.5%, having dropped a couple of points from 2013.

Spend in digital newsbrands has decreased to less than 1% of total media spend in 2017, albeit the highest level was only 2.5% in 2014.

Campaign PROI: print

Lower cost, frequently purchased brands in the ‘refresh and revive’ super-category need to be particularly alert to maximising profit returns on media spend, as both margins and absolute monetary profit levels can be lower than for more expensive goods. Benchmarketing’s PROI analysis shows that for every £1 spent, the likely short to medium-term profit after costs for any campaign is likely to be under £0.25 in this super-category. That’s the lowest for any category investigated. The only hope of paying back campaign media investment is to keep generating profits over the long-term. A focus on sales can easily divert attention from this, as the cheapest media and those seemingly clinching the final deal (particularly with a consumer incentive) are not necessarily those that generate profits long-term.

Average print spend currently sits at 3.5% of overall media budgets, so it falls into the lowest third (tertile) of cases analysed. Multimedia campaigns in this tertile generate a PROI of just 0.20. Higher campaign profitability is discovered when print newsbrand spend is between 9.3% and 14.5% of the total campaign investment. When print newsbrands are included at this level, the PROI multiplier for the campaign rises to 0.24. So a fairly modest rise in print newsbrands’ share of spend would help increase PROI.

PROI is 0.24
when print newsbrands are at optimum level

Campaign PROI: digital

For the first time, the profitability of adding digital newsbrands to campaigns specifically can be quantified.

It is still early days, as the vast majority of campaigns allocate just a few percentage points of budget to newsbrand sites. It is also evident that campaigns using any form of online media are also subject to low PROI. The cost saving in buying these new media does not result in higher profit returns, even in the short to medium-term.

Campaigns that allocate between 0.1% and 0.9% of overall media budget to digital newsbrands generate the highest profit levels, with a PROI of 0.53.

PROI is 0.53
when digital newsbrands are at optimum level

The profit gap

The current average 3.5% investment in print newsbrands elicits a campaign profit of £62.2 million. If the average rose to the recommended 9.3% minimum share of media spend to optimise overall short to medium-term campaign profit levels, the additional profit released could be as much as £27 million.

For digital newsbrands, the recommendation is to maintain share at 1%, so no additional profits would be forthcoming.




Missing profit
 £39.7m - £12.4m = £27.3m
Potential campaign profit
£165.4m x £0.24 = £39.7m
Recommended average
investment in print newsbrands

9.3% = £165.4m
Campaign profit
£62.2m x £0.2 = £12.4m
  Digital newsbrands
Currently spending in optimum range 
Current investment in print newsbrands
3.5% = £62.2m

Current 'refresh and revive'    super-category spend = £1.78bn

Total missing profit =
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Where should the money come from?

To understand how budgets in the ‘refresh and revive ’ super-category can be effectively realigned, Benchmarketing looked at two separate pieces of further analysis in addition to PROI calculations – adstock and response curves.

Adstock is strongest for established media in the ‘refresh and revive’ super-category, higher than any online channels. Adstock of 80% or so is typically associated with a long-term branding message. Print newsbrands have a good carry-over, given that they rarely feature big branding campaigns for this sector.

Response curve analysis indicates that the proportion invested in TV should increase – it is the most scaleable medium, delivering strong incremental profits far longer than any other channel. Print newsbrands and magazines have the next strongest response curves.

This probably reflects the established use of print newsbrand weekend magazines as part of a magazine schedule to support TV – and there seems to be nothing amiss with this, although print newsbrand use should be more extensive as they are easily scaleable. Digital display is currently receiving a disproportionate level of spend in light of its response curve. This suggests that the 23% of ‘refresh and revive’ media expenditure currently invested in digital display is subject to diminishing returns.

The recommendation is therefore to adjust online budgets to allow for an increase in print newsbrands to 9% minimum as a secondary medium.