Metro’s seemingly “oops” moment draws attention to photos by leaving them out

By Jeremy Bryant

Imagine it: You’re on your normal commute, juggling a coffee cup and a gym bag. You snag your Metro from the cheerful promoter, plop down in an empty seat on the subway and open the newspaper.

But in the place of is an empty, grey box. OOPS?!

Much to the surprise of Metro readers across the world, that very thing happened to them on an ordinary September morning last year. The news of Metro’s “big mistake” escalated as readers and Metro’s competitors turned to social media outlets with their shock and amusement about the “catastrophe.”

“Just been reading Metro, without pictures. Someone’s getting fired at Metro.”

“On the first page you look and think that it is a printing error.

“Metro made a big mistake!”  

But actually, Metro had the last laugh.  

So what exactly happened that day?

A bold and daring campaign, created to shake up traditional print media and readers to launch that year’s incarnation of the world’s largest photo competition. The “mistake” was a tongue-in-cheek way to spread the word and highlight the power of images. We followed “No Picture” day with a cheeky message: “Did you miss anything in yesterday’s newspaper?”

After the “No Picture” launch, Metro kept readers activated with the selection of daily winners, regular updates on social media, and features on the grand prize: a photo expedition to Greenland.

The 2012 edition of Metro Photo Challenge boasted a 377% increase in participants, 139% increase in the number of photos submitted, and more than 1 million unique visitors.

The viral success of the “No Picture” campaign proved that a print media can use a clever push  — together with an improved digital platform — to score extraordinarily high engagement.  

This is why, with the great successes from last year, Metro is very excited to kick off the seventh edition of Metro Photo Challenge, launching September 2, 2013, with challenging categories, a talented global jury, and special new features.

Thanks to unique local and global partners, Metro Photo Challenge has strengthened Metro’s brand and reached more than 100 million people in 2012. This year Metro is searching for partners that will benefit from this year’s goal of reaching even higher.

About Jeremy Bryant

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