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Digital content campaign drives Sunday readership at Austin American-Statesman

23 July 2014 · By Neil Stout

As part of its ongoing effort to drive engagement and elicit higher satisfaction scores for the overall brand within the Austin, Texas area, the Austin American-Statesman launched its digital content messaging campaign in April 2013.

The goal of the ongoing campaign, according to Jeff Simecek, senior marketing manager for the Austin American-Statesman, is to enrich the lives of subscribers by delivering high-quality news and information across multiple digital platforms.

The ongoing weekly digital content messaging campaign uses e-mail marketing, social media, and digital display advertising to drive subscribers to a specific front-page story each Sunday.

“We engage with our readers and drive audience value through high-impact print and digital creative each week, reinforcing the Statesman’s editorial commitment to investigative journalism,” Simecek says. “RAM testing shows that ad recall remains consistently high and that the weekly e-mail campaign to subscribers and non-subscribers continues to drive significant ...


La Nación’s Saturday supplement lures readers, premium advertisers with “life decision” content

22 July 2014 · By Bárbara Branowski

Saturday is a day to relax, a day when people do as they please, enjoying time with friends and family. Saturday also has the second highest newspaper circulation of the week, and that’s why almost all advertisers in Saturday’s newspaper are retailers, such as supermarkets, appliance stores, and shopping centers. 

These retailers attempt to persuade people to go shopping and take advantage of special offers available on this one day of the week when they have extra time to go shopping. 

While retail advertisers take up real estate in Saturday’s newspaper, this led many premium advertisers — automotive companies, banks, credit cards, wines, and hotels — to feel like Saturday’s newspaper was not the best place to put their brands and products, even though there is a high circulation and a premium audience for these products and services.

At La Nación, we wanted to offer these companies something different where they could showcase their brands in a way where they weren’t crowded out by retail advertisers or overshadowed by middle-of-the-week breaking news.

 The solution to this problem also had to be unique and relevant in a way that addressed our audience’s personal interests as well. 

And so “Sábado” was born. 

This new supplement for Saturday’s newspaper, also called “Saturday” (Sábado in Spanish), focused on people with different and inspiring stories and experiences, based on the mood of that day. This was our twist from “life style” to “life decisions.”

The supplement, found only in Saturday’s newspaper, has approximately 20 pages. There are articles related to family, entertainment, trends, education, relationships, and other similar topics. There are also stories that help people think about lifestyle choices, help them discover new life experiences, and spotlight entrepreneurs and other inspiring people. 

Our campaign was designed to make people aware of this print supplement. While we also wanted to attract advertisers, our messaging was directed toward readers. We wanted to show that Saturday is a day completely different from the rest of the week, as are the Saturday newspaper and the new supplement.

To do so, we created a concept designed to transmit the “Saturday mood” (happiness, joy, free time, pleasure, relaxation), and the whole campaign (print, outdoor, radio, online) was based on experiencing this mood through personal experiences.

We wanted to convey this message: “There are days and there are Saturdays. All you like to read in a supplement that looks more like you and less like a supplement.”

The campaign showed situations that reflected the content of Sábado, such as athletic events, cooking, socialising with friends, new technology and trends. For example, one of the ads said: 

“Sometimes, there are things you read that can make your weekend better. For example, to read an article and find out that last year 400,000 people participated in marathons and know that without you, it wouldn’t have been so good because there would have been only 399,999 participants.

“Sábado. There are days and there are Saturdays. 

“All you like to read in a supplement that looks more like you and less like a supplement.

To help promote the concept behind Sábado on Facebook, we presented some not-so-happy situations to generate anxiety and garner excitement for the Saturday — the best day of the week and the best supplement — to come. 

The results of our campaign show that 80% of advertisers considered Sábado as an opportunity to display their brands and products. More than 80% of the reader audience is satisfied with Sábado, and more than 50% feel very satisfied.

Though all newspapers have supplements on topics such as tourism, the economy, etc., Sábado is only available from La Nación, and there are no other similar products. We have found that Sábado’s readership is 30% above the average of other supplements, and it represented 20% of Saturday’s total advertising income within its first year.

Times of India uses Augmented Reality app to engage print readers

21 July 2014 · By Sheena Kapoor

With the declining print readership internationally, The Times Group wanted to find a way to make print more interesting and give readers more engaging content by providing a cutting-edge technology that changes the passive consumption of news.

Although print has, for centuries, been an invaluable medium for news dissemination, The Times Group recognised a need to provide a new dimension to the print medium. So we created the Alive Application.

Alive Application intends to provide more innovations and interactivity to the readers and convert a casual/passive reader into a highly engaged audience by allowing them to take part in polls, contests, and various other forms of engagement.

Alive is a revolutionary image recognition Augmented Reality (AR) application from the house of The Times Group, the largest media conglomerate in India. Alive allows readers to ...


Independent’s print, digital re-design boosts brand image, attracts new readers

16 July 2014 · By Linda Taylor

In November of 2013, The Independent revealed a much-admired new look and a change in ethos.

Gone were the bright colours and in-your-face headline fonts. We opted instead for sparing use of colour and pared-down headlines, intelligent use of white space to create a calmer atmosphere, and a stylish new body-copy font.

The re-designed front pages were smarter and classier. Stories on the news pages were more discursive and analytical — a reaction to the fact that “news” is no longer news by the time people have opened their newspapers.

In many ways, the re-design heralded a return to The Independent’s founding principles: classic use of images, agenda-setting scoops, brilliant reporting, and great foreign coverage — all without gimmicks. The response from readers was overwhelmingly favourable.

Ultimately, the aim of the re-design was to restore confidence in the brand and attract new readers. However, The Independent is not a stand-alone product.

Its content plays a major role in feeding the Web site, and cut-down versions of its stories are used to produce its baby sister, The i, which now sells roughly 300,000 copies a day, bucking a trend that has seen print journalism sales declining.

Indeed, the success of The Independent, its Web site, and its sister newspaper are inextricably linked. The i’s significant commercial success in 2013 helps our industry tell a different story, one of hope and innovation that proves the British public likes the printed word. 

The overhaul of The Independent’s design toward the end of 2013 cemented the notion that we can evolve in the face of challenging external circumstances. There is no sense in simply battening down the hatches and hoping for the best. Proactivity is our watchword.

On the digital side of our business, a major re-design for the Web site had been in the pipeline for several months and was timed to go live at the same time as The Independent’s print edition got its new look. 

The designs played off one another, but the site’s look was not a simple replica of the print edition’s design. 

While the Independent is a British brand, has millions of users outside the UK. Of course, what looks good in print does not automatically work online in the same way. 

The re-design of the Web site, therefore, had to be suitably tailored to project heavyweight, in-depth splashes, but also more shareable, fun stories, rich in video and images. The Web site is finding new readers and has additional goals but holds true to the core values of The Independent.

Sunday Star-Times toy car giveaway speeds single-copy sales at key retailers

15 July 2014 · By Cherie Russell

The Sunday Star-Times is New Zealand’s only nationwide newspaper. A high proportion of its circulation is from retail sales.

This meant we needed to develop a promotion that would drive retail sales of the newspaper through two of the largest retail channels in the country — Countdown (a supermarket brand) and Z Energy (a gas station brand) — whilst delivering a clear return on investment on the marketing budget.

We focused on these two retailers because they are head office-controlled versus being franchises or owner-operated businesses, which ensured consistent store compliance across the promotion. This also allowed us to keep the distribution cost down. 

For the promotion, we decided to focus on ...

...[more] brainstorms new revenue ideas, finds long-term success in product partnership campaigns

14 July 2014 · By Anne Voigt

It all started 12 years ago in 2002. The online bubble just exploded and was looking for new revenue ideas. – now and then Germany’s largest news Web site – came up with several ideas to open up new markets.

One idea became very successful.

We started selling the “Volks-Computer,” meaning a computer affordable for every German household enabling everyone to get access to the Internet and, of course, to The discount computer retailer Plus, which held more than 2,700 outlets in Germany, appeared to be the ideal partner for this project.

The following characteristics made the “Volks-Computer” such a great success:

  • A product made for the masses following current trends.

  • A good value-for-money ratio.

  • Providing add-ons to the advertised product.

In September of 2002, we started a massive advertising campaign in the print title Bild as well as on The computer was sold out within a couple of hours.

Within the subsequent three campaigns in which and Plus partnered, more than ...


Nuestro Diario creates regional editions, building audience, advertiser relationships

10 July 2014 · By Rolando Baldizón

Eleven years ago, we realised the different regional departments in our country needed to be differentiated — they must have something new, something different, something innovative. 

Why? Because Nuestro Diario readers in each department needed to have their own first-hand information. That was the beginning of the process of regionalisation (north, south, east, and west).

In the beginning, the editions circulated three times per week to these regions and consolidated areas. In 2011, we decided to print three more “regionales,” reaching 10 geographic regions of Guatemala. With this new distribution, we created groups that covered all the geographic departments, giving us the opportunity to give daily coverage throughout the entire country.

Nobody could have predicted that ...


Het Belang van Limburg engages readers by solving their problems

09 July 2014 · By Dominic Stas

When somebody or something touches Limburg, those of us at Mediahuis see it as our task to take up a social role, which we do using our newspaper, Het Belang van Limburg. Instead of being reactive to issues that arise at the community or even a personal level for our readers, we wanted to be proactive.

Starting in November of 2013, we began including a two-page section in our Monday publication called “Voor u opgelost,” which means “Solved for you.” In this section, we provide answers to two or three reader questions or problems.

We did not get any feedback from our readers before launching this initiative, but we had been receiving questions from our readers from time to time. So we took it upon ourselves to move forward with this new section in the newspaper. 

This isn’t just an advice column. Instead, we present the reader’s problem from two sides, which a journalist then attempts to solve with a full-length article. Every question receives an answer from the staff journalist who writes this section, but he decides which to publish in the newspaper, depending on how story-worthy an issue becomes while he’s researching the problems.

Examples of questions we’ve received include everything from ...


Mint grows readership by keeping business news simple

08 July 2014 · By Madhavi Sekhri

Our business news initiative Mint celebrates its seventh anniversary this year with the launch of a new campaign, which captures the essence of the Mint story.

Since inception, at the core of Mint lies innovation. From the Berliner-size format to the design of the newspaper, from the content and presentation style and even to the name, everything was new, energised and refreshing. 

Over the years, Mint has consistently delivered on its promise of “Refreshing Clarity in Business News” as it continues to demystify complex business issues and provide unmatched clarity and depth in its coverage, making it the preferred choice of its discerning readers.

Available in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, and Pune, Mint gives clear, concise, relevant, and insightful analysis of key business developments in India and across the world.

Mint now has a readership of more than 300,000 — and out of those readers, 81% do not read any other ...


DNA draws new subscribers with campaign focused on local presence

02 July 2014 · By Francis Hirn

Dernieres Nouvelles d’Alsace (DNA) recently launched a new advertising campaign to emphasise our high standards of proximity and legitimacy. The campaign, “Home Grown since 1877,” is inspired by the global willingness of a return to close proximity, locally made products and the development of “home grown” regional brands and concepts. 

The objective of the campaign was not only to reassure our loyal readers that this publication was going to remain a part of their community and lives, but also to attract new subscribers by portraying an image of authenticity, quality, and local news coverage. 

The message, “Home Grown since 1877” (in French “Producteur local depuis 1877”) comes with a double graphical proposition, which refers to the agricultural codes of local production. Showing a stork (the Alsacian symbol) standing up not on a haystack but on a print roll of newspapers refers to the local and regional anchorage of the DNA.

We have launched campaigns of this size in the past, most recently in 2011 for the launch of our new formula and design of the newspaper. The “home grown” concept is a modern and popular concept in France, however, and it felt like the right time to launch a large campaign based around that idea.

The campaign was deployed through a variety of ...


About this blog

The Ideas Blog captures the practical discussions and case studies of news media company to grow revenue, audience, and brand. These case studies are written by INMA members for INMA members. Begun in December 2012, this content previously resided in Ideas Magazine; for an archive of past case studies, click here.

Blog editor

Dawn McMullan is the editor of the Ideas Blog and senior editor for INMA. If you are an INMA member and would like to contribute a case study, please contact Dawn directly by clicking here.


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