For most newspapers in Mexico, sales and readership slump on Christmas Day. Not only are readers busy with family and friends, but there aren’t many magazine kiosks open for readers to buy a newspaper.
In 2019, Grupo Milenio decided to boost readership on December 25, and it did so by giving its readers a gift.
The Buenas Noticias project — which means “Good News” — required coordination of all departments to make it successful. The editorial department tracked down and wrote positive stories for this special print edition, and the design department developed unique graphics to identify those uplifting stories. That included stories that looked as if they were wrapped in a red ribbon that tied into a bow — one of the tell-tale signs of a Christmas gift.
In addition to these positive pieces of content and design, advertisers added to the Christmas spirit by including holiday wishes in their advertising. The subscriptions platform also became part of the campaign, offering special pricing with a Christmas subscriptions promotion.
The idea was that, by working closely together, all the departments could offer a gift of “good news” that delivered positive messages, created greater reader engagement, improved brand positioning, and encouraged readers to pick up the print edition of the newspaper. It also provided a unique opportunity to increase advertising sales on Christmas Day.
Giving out the gift
The circulation department was critical in successfully executing this strategy. It had to look at how the normal delivery schedule needed to be modified to reach the greatest number of readers on Christmas Day.
The circulation team looked at key areas throughout Mexico City that would be busy that morning, such as shopping centers, parks, and some of the busier streets. Then, to make sure the workers delivering the newspapers stood out, all salespeople wore Christmas uniforms. Additionally, promotional materials advertised the locations with the campaign slogan, “Buenas Noticias.”
Knowing people tend to start their mornings a little later on Christmas Day, the sales staff skipped its usual early-morning shifts and took to the streets at 10 a.m., looking for people and cars in the key areas that had been selected. Distribution points at 10 shopping centers were covered by six teams, while street teams blanketed the highest traffic areas for vehicles. By 2 p.m. that day, every newspaper had been given away for free.
The gift keeps on giving
The results of the Good News campaign were compelling. Although Grupo Milenio normally drops its print run by 35% on Christmas Day, as part of this campaign, it printed the normal number of newspapers. They were given away at no charge to people on the street, in their cars, and in shopping centers, restaurants, and other businesses that were open that day.
Key to the campaign was the creation of POP materials that were positioned on corners to explain the campaign and let drivers know why they were being approached and given a free publication. The brand positioning also benefitted from the fact that other newspapers were not being sold on the streets during this normally slow readership day.
To get long-term benefit from this outreach, the subscription department offered a special discount lasting through the Christmas season and encouraged readers to subscribe. And in the end, the Buenas Noticias initiative proved to truly be good news for all, with more readers engaging on a normally slow day and advertising increasing exponentially when compared to December 25 for the past six years.