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“We’re trying to reiterate the value we provide”: How publishers are wooing new readers through innovative ad campaigns

Publishers—including The Guardian, The Economist and Bloomberg—have recently launched striking ad campaigns to connect with new readers. They are using varied and innovative strategies to grow their readership, and also experimenting with different channels to reach them. 

“Turning confusion into clarity”

The Guardian’s out-of-home campaign in Berlin and Dublin encourages people to ‘Find clarity’ in an increasingly chaotic and confusing world. It presents Guardian Weekly, The Guardian’s international news magazine as a way for readers to digest news differently, offering a global perspective and ‘a pause for thought’ moment.

Our new Guardian Weekly campaign was based on a key reader insight – that reading the news in 2020, while vital and at times enthralling, can be overwhelming. 

Sam Jacobs, Creative Director, Oliver, The Guardian’s in-house creative agency

“Guardian Weekly gives readers a measured, global perspective on current events, effectively turning confusion into clarity,” added Jacobs. “We worked with illustrator Rafael Alejandro to create some beautifully chaotic illustrations that allows the calm side of the ads to feel visually serene.”

The ads feature surrealist artwork depicting three global news events – Coronavirus, Trump and the environment. Each design runs with an accompanying statement that ‘the world is…’ ‘confusing’ (Coronavirus), ‘absurd’ (Trump), and ‘in crisis’ (the environment). A related Guardian Weekly cover appears next to the illustrations, inviting people to ‘Find clarity.’ The clustered imagery is juxtaposed against the calm, clear Guardian Weekly magazine.

Source: Creative Boom

“Working with Oliver to illustrate these uncertain times, we have designed a visually striking creative to promote Guardian Weekly and highlight the Guardian’s strength in offering global readers clear and trusted journalism on the issues that matter,” explained Kate Davies, Director of Brand and Awareness, Guardian News and Media.

The publisher has planned additional activity on digital and social media, including ads on YouTube and Twitter, reports The Drum.

Source: Creative Boom

“Tapping into the collective frustration”

While The Guardian’s campaign is focused on growing its European audience which accounts for 17% of its total page views—nearly double that of 2016—The Economist is looking to grow its US audiences by focusing on the upcoming presidential election. 

Its campaign titled “Word Play” makes use of kangaroo words found within The Economist name to indicate to readers what they can expect (evidence-based, refreshingly fair) and cannot expect (no hype, no clickbait) from The Economist.

Source: The Drum

“Tapping into the collective frustration with mass media and acknowledging the emotionally charged presidential election, ‘Word Play’ will promote The Economist’s US 2020 elections coverage, raise awareness of The Economist among US audiences and present the brand as a refreshingly fair-minded, rigorous and data-driven alternative source of journalism,” according to the publisher.

Through ‘Word Play,’ we can introduce our brand and content to new audiences looking for a global perspective on the events shaping our world today and begin to bring them on a journey with us.

Kim Miller, CMO, The Economist

The Economist hopes to attract new readers, including younger, female audiences, with this campaign which is running on social media, it own channels, as well as other digital outlets like Wired, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, HuffPost and Quartz.

“Moment of massive, global transformation”

Meanwhile Bloomberg Media has taken its new ad campaign to OTT platforms. The campaign “Inventing Possibilities” launched earlier this month has been designed to promote digital subscriptions. 

It is the publisher’s largest-to-date, multi-million dollar marketing campaign, according to Digiday. It includes a 30-second commercial spot created specifically for OTT platforms like Hulu, Amazon Fire and YouTube TV, as well as social media.

The campaign tells consumers about Bloomberg Media’s “trusted, data-driven global business news and insights as a pivotal resource for a multifaceted, global business audience.”

It also brings to attention the recent expansion at Bloomberg, including new verticals such as Bloomberg Green, Bloomberg CityLab, Bloomberg Equality and Bloomberg Wealth. 

Source: Bloomberg Media

“The campaign launches at a moment of massive, global transformation, when rising and established leaders are looking for resources to help them navigate the fast-moving economic, political, technological and social trends worldwide,” said Lindsay Horrigan, GM of Subscriptions and Global Head of Consumer Marketing at Bloomberg Media. 

Inventing Possibilities is about the way in which Bloomberg delivers insights to expand your perspective and uncover the possibilities of tomorrow.

Lindsay Horrigan, GM of Subscriptions, Bloomberg Media

“There are perceptions around Bloomberg appealing to a finance or a markets business leader and really we’re interested in rising and established business leaders at large across many different industries,” Anne Kawalerski, CMO, Bloomberg Media told journalist Kayleigh Barber.

She added that focusing on OTT channels and social media for this campaign made sense since the publisher has seen an inordinate increase in viewership and active users over the past several months due to the coronavirus lockdowns. Also OTT channels are the platforms where the broader audience the publisher is trying to reach, is spending a lot of time on.

“We shine in markets and finance, but we’re trying to reiterate the value we provide in all of the areas of business coverage,” concluded Horrigan.

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