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ABP helps advertiser broaden brand reach with radio selfie spin-off contest

24 November 2015 · By L. Carol Christopher

Although the medium of radio is sometimes seen as having limited effectiveness and being rarely innovative, ABP’s 91.9 Friends FM station plays against that model constantly, to the benefit of both its business clients and its audience.

Although radio is typically seen as an audio-only medium, ABP realised the importance of showcasing the power of sound through sight and touch. Thus was born Khushiyon ka Rangmanch – The Theatre of Happiness, a 360 ̊ branding campaign, conceptualised and successfully executed around radio as a medium. The campaign ran during Durga Puja, the biggest festival in the city of Kolkata, when the clutter in advertising is massive. 

Out of that came the concept of doing something that helped its client, Century Ply, break out of the clutter, and in the process, stretched the limits of innovation in radio. 

Century Ply is part of an industry that is usually associated with staid, predictable advertising. The station challenged that concept by creating a never-before activity: A “selfie” contest conducted primarily on the air, supported by print, digital, and out-of-home platforms. 

But the true innovation was in the execution: a chat with the winners, broadcast live on radio, conducted 14 feet in the air in a bustling market area during ...


Fairfax Media’s native advertising initiative grows revenue with 14 key elements

23 November 2015 · By L. Carol Christopher

When Fairfax Media noticed a growing appetite from Australian brands for content, it identified an opportunity to leverage what it does best — quality content creation, along with its audience reach and trust — to the benefit of its advertisers. 

A first among Australian news publishers, Brand Discover is a native advertising product that allows advertisers to engage audiences by creating, designing, and promoting custom, branded content across The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

This audience-relevant content, which is integrated with high-quality editorial, also reaches audiences on Fairfax’s Web sites, mobile sites, and tablet apps. 

Brand Discover comes in two formats that are optimised to maximise user engagement: articles and “shorticles,” the latter with a length of 200 words or less. Both are designed for high-impact branding integration.

Brand reveals include videos, galleries, and banners, as well as customised creatives to suit the advertiser’s needs — up to two per article or one for “shorticles.” Sponsorships are also available, and can include integration of branded reveals within the editorial flow, as well as header “BTYB” (brought to you by) messages. 

Fairfax is pleased with the success of its innovative Brand Discover. Advertisers have a new way to reach and inform customers, and readers can choose whether to engage or not with the clearly labeled advertising. The label on Brand Discover articles includes the masthead, an advertiser logo, and a clear disclaimer. Social sharing tools are also available.

Fairfax Media believes the ad experience should follow the natural form and ...


Sacramento Bee smartphone app expected to grow audience 10%

23 November 2015 · By Jeremy C. Fox

Editor’s note: This is one of 19 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Smartphone App Lessons for Media Companies,” released in July.  

At the Sacramento Bee, smartphone apps are integral to the overall marketing strategy and have generated a “very high” return on investment, “many times the technical and business payroll and hosting expense,” according to Grey Montgomery, director of mobile initiatives for McClatchy Interactive, the digital division of the McClatchy Company, for which the Bee is the flagship newspaper. 

The Bee has a responsive design Web site, an app for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Android tablet, as well as an e-reader version for Kindle and Nook. Its mobile products are developed internally, targeting current readers with a focus on developing the best possible interactions for app users, 51% of whom are subscribers, compared to just 1% of mobile Web Bee readers, according to analytics.

“We are attempting to create a superior user experience in our apps to make them … cater to our subscriber audience,” Montgomery says. 

Analytics also show that app users have 30 times the engagement level of mobile Web readers as measured by pageviews and monthly unique visitors. The app is mostly used at home. Users rarely use sidebar navigation menus to find content or to seek out sections other than the home page, Montgomery says.

App users have access to a limited number of free pageviews but must pay a subscription rate of US$120 per year after reaching the threshold. Additional revenue comes from in-app advertisements, though the app presents ads “at a much lower volume than online,” Montgomery says.

And while return on investment is high, the app “diverts development resources away from the Web. It’s a second and third platform to develop and support,” Montgomery says.

The Bee measures the success of its app by the number of subscribers, which it expects to see grow by as much as 10% this year. The Bee needs to grow its total levels of monthly unique visitors because while pageview counts are high, Montgomery says, it is not attracting enough monthly unique visitors to draw advertiser interest in many markets.

App users behave differently, so Toronto Star treats them differently

16 November 2015 · By Jeremy C. Fox

Editor’s note: This is one of 19 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Smartphone App Lessons for Media Companies,” released in July.   

The Toronto Star’s smartphone app is a significant part of the overall marketing strategy, but has not become a primary focus. Its long-term value is still very much under consideration, according to Ali Rahnema, chief operating officer for digital at Star Media Group. 

“We are undecided on the value of continuing to offer a mass appeal app, and as such, do not dedicate significant resources towards developing a unique user experience,” Rahnema says. “We are currently evaluating the value of a mass appeal offering and determining whether or not moving to several niche apps would be better in meeting user demand and needs. An alternative path we may take is to not offer any native apps at all.” 

The Star’s lone app was developed internally and is offered free of charge, with both banner and native ads generating revenue. In its ...


Die Welt continues tweaking news app based on reader comments

09 November 2015 · By Dirk Nolde

KOMPAKT is a news app launched May 2014 — 10 years after “WELT kompakt” started the daily, tabloid formatted, compact variant of Die Welt.

In 2013, our mobile offerings were merely variations of the desktop content: Technically altered, with elements subtracted — a different layout for the very same stuff. 

Our thesis was and still is that mobile is different. We must make it shorter, easier to digest, suitable for casual usage by getting rid of the clutter, but not of substance.

We borrowed principles from Bauhaus: Form follows function. OK, but we’d also like content to follow the respective usage situation. Our take on this concept was that form (content and design) follows users. 

We started rough concepts and first design sprints in the second half of 2013. We wanted KOMPAKT to be card-based, modular, with rather large images/graphics/maps/videos/social media items and short texts. No scrolling, just swiping. 

In eight weeks, we developed the KOMPAKT iOS app. It hit the App Store on May 6 and that was the start of our learning curve. 

We had not bothered to develop and test prototypes in advance, which made ...


Register-Guard’s mobile strategy focuses on local sports team apps

08 November 2015 · By Jeremy C. Fox

Editor’s note: This is one of 19 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Smartphone App Lessons for Media Companies,” released in July.   

At The Register-Guard, a regional daily newspaper in the state of Oregon (USA), the primary focus is on sports apps, with one for the Oregon Ducks basketball team of the University of Oregon and another for the university’s football team. Both apps were developed by an outside vendor, DoApp Inc., of Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

The Register-Guard Web site has a responsive design that displays well on mobile, so developing a fully built-out news app has been a lower priority, though the media company is researching potential vendors and development options.

It currently offers an app that presents a digital replica of ...


Ottawa Citizen app designed for young audience, looking toward mobile video

05 November 2015 · By Jeremy C. Fox

Editor’s note: This is one of 19 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Smartphone App Lessons for Media Companies,” released in July.  

The Ottawa Citizen, part of Canadian media company Postmedia Network, takes a platform-agnostic approach to reaching its readers.

“We think about our strategy more from an audience perspective, and that means via browser and apps on the smartphone,” says Liane Brodie, a director of app development for Postmedia, which also owns the National Post, the Calgary Herald, and the Edmonton Journal.

“We have a very broad reach through the browser, where consumption tends to be one and done. Our app users consume close to five times more content per visit, so that’s a narrower, but highly engaged audience.”

To serve that audience, Postmedia works to develop apps that don’t just ...


Florida Today wins big with deep dive into local economic development initiative

04 November 2015 · By Stephanie Herndon

When the biggest economic development in the United States’ southeast region’s of last five years takes place, it’s not something a reputable news organisation makes a mere casual mention of. Go big, or go home, as they say.

Break the news first. Dive deeply into the impact the announcement will have on the local economy — jobs created, homes purchased, retail stimulated, and more. Get the community and its business and civic leaders involved to not simply report what’s going on, but to ask the right questions and ignite true conversation.

“Project Magellan” is a code name for this economic development project in the Florida Today market, one which area state and county leaders worked diligently to win. With Project Magellan, aerospace company Northrop Grumman announced the creation of new, high-paying, technological jobs at a new facility at the local Melbourne International Airport.

Florida Today’s breaking editorial coverage of the project’s official announcement in May 2014 actively continued during the following months and culminated in ...


30-day card collecting campaign increases retail print sales for APN ARM

28 October 2015 · By Amy Currie

APN ARM created its Prehistoric Dinosaur Collection promotion in 2014 with the goal of increasing retail print sales whilst engaging major retailers and the community in general. 

The campaign ran for 30 days and saw readers collecting newspaper tokens to redeem at their local news agent for sets of two dinosaur collector cards. With 40 unique cards, readers had the goal of completing a full collection. 

APN ARM partnered with regional news agents throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales to distribute 800,000 educational dinosaur collector cards to more than 12 key regional markets.

In a 360-degree promotion, APN ARM made full use of print, online, radio and social media. The campaign was supported in mastheads across APN ARM’s extensive media footprint, inspiring additional content, stories, and print editorial, with full use being made of ...


Crossword puzzle app at center of Kompas’ smartphone strategy

27 October 2015 · By Jeremy C. Fox

Editor’s note: This is one of 19 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Smartphone App Lessons for Media Companies,” released in July.  

Indonesia’s Kompas has a highly unusual mobile strategy based around a single smartphone app: a crossword puzzle game called Kompas TTS.

The game is designed to gather “as much audience as we can get,” says Eko Prabowo, who heads Kompas’ mobile development team.

Kompas previously introduced another app, offering an e-paper version of Kompas available behind a paywall. Designed for use by the newspaper’s print subscribers, it is marketed far less widely than the crossword app. 

The Kompas TTS app was developed externally, by Radya Labs Teknologi of Bandung, Indonesia, and is available for Windows Phone, Android, and iOS. The app is free to download and to play, and it offers ...


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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