In early 2012, it was all about giving away at Ekstra Bladet. It turned out that when you give a little something, you get a whole lot back.

Planning the tactical activities of 2012 — a year yet again characterised by a substantial decrease in print circulation and readers — we at Ekstra Bladet asked ourselves the following question: How can we increase single-copy sales and increase motivation to buy the newspaper more often – maybe even every day — amongst our medium- and high-frequency readers?

The answer was “Guldfeber” (“gold fever”), an eight-week campaign giving our readers the opportunity to collect Guldpoint (gold points) printed inside the newspaper and swap them for gifts. The more points, the bigger the gifts!

Monday to Thursday, readers could collect 20 points; Friday through Sunday (as well as holidays), readers could find 50 points in the newspaper. Readers could redeem the points for dinners, cinema tickets, books, DVDs and a mini-cruise to Norway or England, costing from 100 to 1,800 points.

Redeeming the points was very simple: Cut the points out of the newspaper, put them in an envelope with an ordering coupon found in the newspaper or on the campaign Web site, and send it to Ekstra Bladet. Within three weeks, readers received their gift by mail, free of charge.

The campaign was supported by several stories in the newspaper along with print and online ads and a national television spot. On the campaign site, readers could find all the information needed about the campaign.

“With Guldfeber, I wanted to create a universe that was fun, exclusive, and visually supported the concept of collecting,” says Oliver D. J. Christensen, art director at Ekstra Bladet.

The campaign was extremely popular:

  • Nearly 16,000 gifts were collected, almost four times as many as we had expected.
  • We sold 854 extra newspapers each day, or 49,532 for the entire campaign period, which was 60% more than we had anticipated.
  • To gain qualitative insights, we invited 2,000 participants to answer an online survey. Here, 95% stated that they found the campaign positive or extremely positive and that they would collect points again if we ran a similar campaign in the future.

Many of those surveyed also explained that they found it very sympathetic that we gave something back to those of our readers who had been loyal to our brand for several years. Overall, the feedback was extraordinary, and it was clear our readers had a very positive view on the campaign, rubbing off on our perceived brand image.