A new research tool launched by a consortium of Britain’s media buyers and sellers claims that media properties have personalities of their own, and that these can be matched with brand attributes to increase advertising effectiveness.

Founded by Zenith Media, Capital Radio, News International and BSkyB, MediaDNA plans to show advertisers which media outlets correspond to a brand’s personality, image and positioning.

The scheme, which has been endorsed by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, involves 51 different descriptions, such as caring, fussy, clever, over-complicated, playful and firm.

Working for MediaDNA, Millward Brown interviewed 5,000 16 to 64-year-olds regarding their views on 85 top media brands, including newspapers, radio and TV stations, magazines and television shows.

The survey produced some eyebrow-raising results – the Financial Times, for example, despite being the brand with the strongest identity of the 85, is regarded as less intellectual than science fiction TV programmes Stargate SG1 and The X-Files.

The nation’s newspapers, meanwhile, are considered conscientious, with tabloids getting the added bonus of being sexy, glamorous, bold and British.

Both radio stations and consumer magazines are regarded as caring, with H Bauer’s Take a Break title at the top of this category. Moreover, local radio has more youth cachet than its national counterpart, Virgin Radio faring especially badly in this respect.

The survey also had some bad news for Hello! magazine (considered over-sentimental), as well as commercial network ITV and the Sunday Mirror (both too predictable).

News sources: BrandRepublic (UK); Media Week (UK)