Page, masthead re-design revitalises a newspaper brand

by Matt Evans        

The Advertiser in South Australia refreshed its masthead and page design. A campaign to promote the changes to the newspaper helped boost its brand image within the market.

Click the image to view a larger versionThe Advertiser in South Australia embarked on a comprehensive refresh of its visual identity. The newspaper adopted a new masthead and updated the overall look of the print product. It had been 150 years since the Advertiser’s design had undergone this level of all-inclusive change.

The primary driver behind the Advertiser’s masthead and page “refresh” was to better position the newspaper as a contemporary leader in the market and to reinforce its connection and palce in the everyday life of South Australians.

The newspaper’s transformation was supported by a comprehensive multi-media communications campaign designed to be thought-provoking and to inspire South Australians to “make the most of every day.”

Advertiser Newspapers’ marketing director Dan Demaria said “It was the power of a single-minded idea in the ‘Most’ thought which really pulled this campaign together. Whether we were celebrating the “Most Inspiring” (cricket legend, Don Bradman), the “Most Outrageous (neglect of The Murray River) or the “Most Legendary” (South Australia’s iconic pie floater), there was always a proof point to help our readers ‘Make the Most of Every Day’”.

The campaign’s “make the most of every day” positioning included the colour red as a consistent visual element in the initiative’s marketing materials. The colour played an important part in the campaign, as the Advertiser commenced to “painting the town red.” Examples of this included:

  • The newspaper’s sponsorship of the Adelaide United football club, the Reds, included “Go You Reds” reader premiums to support the team’s historic journey in the Asian Champions League.
  • It turned an entire bay of the AAMI Stadium “red” for the South Australia National Football League Grand Final.
  • A tram running daily from Glenelg to the central business district was wrapped in red cladding.
  • A promotional undertaking at the Adelaide train station included offering commuters a red apple to encourage them to “make the most of their day.”
  • The colour red was incorporated into updated point-of-sale material across the state’s entire distribution network.

Independent and qualitative research conducted by Synovate examined consumer response to the freshened Advertiser design. It reported that readers found the newspaper’s new look “more contemporary” and “more up-to-date.”

Furthermore, AustraliaScan research conducted by Quantum Research confirmed the Advertiser’s top ranking among South Australia’s leading brands. The refresh and its supporting marketing campaign were shown to have a positive impact on the brand’s image. In response to the question “How well do these brands match your own personal values in life,” the Advertiser rose from 63 percent in 2008 to 78.2 percent in 2009.

Independent survey result such as these highlight how a refresh of the page design and masthead, and of the newspaper brand, can pay off. They have also strengthened the Advertiser’s position in the South Australian media landscape and its connection with South Australians.

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