Developed in partnership with comScore and the Keller Fay Group, Project Footprint closely tracked the online and offline activities of 70 multiplatform subscribers to The Times over the course of a month. The study shows how exposure to advertising on the tablet edition provokes offline conversation as well as searching online and purchasing products. This finding demonstrates how exposure to advertising has a strong correlation to brand advocacy.

Key Findings

  • Times readers are a digitally hungry audience, spending 63% more time online and visiting 57% more pages than the average internet user

  • Times readers are also naturally inquisitive, spending 372% more time with Google compared to the average internet user

  • Times readers spend 56% less time with Facebook compared to the average internet user

  • Advertising exposure demonstrated a strong correlation to brand advocacy in various categories e.g. supermarkets (95% of brand advocates also saw an ad for their preferred brand during the month), banking (86%), airlines (75%), Cars (65%)

  • Advertising exposure drove higher offline conversation levels for a variety of advertised brands, compared to a non-exposed control group e.g. Burberry +150%, Mr Turner (movie) +114%, VW +67%, Barclays +36%, Audi +28%, John Lewis +16%

  • Advertising exposure also drove higher online behaviour (brand search/website visitation), compared to a non-exposed control group e.g. cinemas +111%, Marks & Spencer +50%, Lloyds Bank +18%

  • Advertising exposure also drove higher offline action (purchases/brand choice) versus non-exposed control group e.g. BMW +163% uplift (versus non-exposed control), VW +80% uplift, Audi +33% uplift, HSBC +10% uplift, John Lewis +7% uplift

  • Project Footprint also revealed a significant proportion of Times subscribers having a conversation and taking online action for an exposed brand e.g. retail (40%), movies (14%), banking (13%), auto (7%)

  • Project also explored behaviours at a more granular level across 5 key advertiser categories – retail, auto, travel, entertainment and finance – revealing further positive results as well as some fascinating individual customer journeys


A group of 70 multiplatform Times subscribers were recruited to take part in a month long experiment whereby they downloaded comScore meters to their digital devices to capture all their digital behaviour and also completed a daily diary app, developed in consultation with Keller Fay to capture their conversations and other offline behaviour.

Over the month, the project collected a massive amount of data – 1.3 million rows of data including over 44,000 search engine interactions, 183,427 pages consumed and 1,400 WoM impressions. This data was all combined at an individual respondent level to allow it to be analysed for patterns in behaviour.