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Why targeting 18 – 24 year olds in campus publications works

July 1, 2013 | By | No Comments

Through this study, we determined that advertising in student papers is the most effective way to reach an 18-24 year old audience, even when compared to other free local newspapers. Student papers not only save advertisers money, but they also have a high circulation rate among their target. After comparing the CPM (cost per mille) of four different categories of papers in the Edmonton market, it can be determined that student papers are the most cost effective and direct method of advertising to the 18-24 year old demographic.

In this case study, we compared the campus paper at the University of Alberta (The Gateway) with the free alt weekly (Vue Weekly), free daily (Edmonton Metro), and two paid dailies (Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun) to find which paper is the most cost effective for advertisers. In order to determine CPM, we compared the cost of a full-page black and white ad, rate of circulation, and percentage of people who read each paper in the 18-24 and 18-34 age groups, respectively. We determined that the regular rate of CPM for The Gateway (with no age group specified) is relatively high when compared to other papers, at $124.

However, when the age group of 18-24 year olds is specified, The Gateway is the least expensive option at $138, especially when compared to the highest (Edmonton Journal) at a CPM of $1,301.

Even though the Edmonton Journal technically has a higher overall circulation rate (100,270), the amount of 18-24 year olds circulating the paper is significantly lower when compared to campus papers. Additionally, though The Gateway’s CPM rate is only $3 cheaper than the Edmonton Metro, the exclusive and extensive distribution of The Gateway on campus makes it a much more effective form of advertising to the 18-24 year old target.

Moreover, advertisers can be assured that their target is being reached when they place advertising in campus papers, as their readership is almost exclusively the post-secondary student demographic. Along with the competitive CPM value and extensive distribution to the target, campus papers also have a lower ad content ratio when compared with other newspapers. While the typical paper has a 50% ad ratio, campus papers only have 15-25%, allowing advertising to be viewed in a low noise environment. It should also be noted that in the expanded 18-34 year old demographic, while the $124 CPM rate for The Gateway isn’t the lowest, it is still competitive when compared to the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun, as well as the free alt newspaper the Vue Weekly, which are all higher.

Through this case study, it can be determined that campus newspapers are not only the most cost effective for advertisers in terms of CPM for the 18-24 year old demographic, but the most effective in terms of targeted distribution and advertising in a low noise environment.

With files from Justin Kuchmak


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