Press and Journal brand campaign engages readers while celebrating its 275 years

By Carly Gilchrist

The Press and Journal

Aberdeen, Scotland


Established in 1748, The Press and Journal is Scotland’s oldest newspaper, serving the north and northeast online and in print. On January 5, 2023, we marked its 275th anniversary with a year-long campaign.

“The P&J, 275 Years as Your Voice” campaign celebrated our history, stories, transformation, and connection with the communities we serve. 

Driven by ambitious goals, our campaign leveraged rich heritage for a future-focused positioning. The primary aim was to enhance our brand equity as the region’s top news provider, using the 275th anniversary to rekindle community connection. Unfolding from ink to the Internet, our campaign highlighted a 275-year commitment to telling the stories that matter to the communities that we serve.

We integrated our objectives into the Tracker of Audience Perception (TAP) report, a DC Thomson Insights survey, offering a structured approach to gauge success. The campaign’s ambition shone through its multifaceted approach, fusing heritage with contemporary storytelling to fortify brand connections.

Campaign objectives

We used three main metrics to measure our success via our TAP report:

  1. Brand awareness, which was about maintaining our position as the dominant news provider in The P&J’s region.
  2. Increasing our readers’ understanding of benefits and the fact that we are a paid-for news Web site.
  3. Increasing our audience’s consideration to purchase.
The campaign highlighted the history of The P&J but also looked to the future.
The campaign highlighted the history of The P&J but also looked to the future.

The campaign’s creative strategy centred around the brand’s 275 years of journalism, employing nostalgic narratives, historical tales, and modern storytelling techniques.

Our campaign activity gave us the platform to launch our The P&J 275 Community Fund. With this came a purposeful dimension, emphasising positive community impact, reinforcing the brand’s role as a dedicated storyteller ingrained in the region’s history, and our commitment to the communities we serve.

Implementing the campaign

The campaign unfolded across various channels, ensuring a comprehensive and impactful reach. Our plan unfolded in three parts:

  • Take our audience on a brand journey: We launched our campaign with Our Misson brand video. This was delivered by our journalists who all live and work in the communities that we serve. We simultaneously updated all brand touchpoints with campaign styling, including an updated newspaper masthead and the addition of an About Us page on our Web site.

  • Show them the proof: Throughout 2023, as we celebrated our 275th anniversary, The P&J published a monthly timeline of articles showcasing how The P&J has covered the stories of the region since the newspaper was first published in 1748.
  • Remind them we are serving their communities: From August to October 2023, our out-of-home (OOH) ads for the 275 campaign adorned the streets of the north and northeast. Focused on busy central routes in Aberdeen and Inverness, the OOH campaign aimed to enhance brand awareness and spark curiosity, thus directing audiences to our Web site. This complemented simultaneous targeted paid digital efforts in the same areas.
The OOH campaign aimed to enhance brand awareness and encourage audiences to visit the Web site.
The OOH campaign aimed to enhance brand awareness and encourage audiences to visit the Web site.

Additionally, as part of our 275th-anniversary celebrations, we launched The P&J 275 Community Fund, designed to support the charities doing incredible work across our region. We asked our readers to vote for charities impacting our communities most.

We received over 20,000 reader votes, resulting in a £10,000 (US$12,622) initial payment for each of the five chosen charities (£50,000/US$63,110 in total) presented at our P&J 275 Charity Gala in February 2024.

Measuring results

Our campaign delivered impressive results:

  • 52.9% increase in brand consideration.
  • 6.4% increase in understanding subscription benefits.
  • 76% of readers subscribing due to the brand’s sense of community.
  • Reached 2 million+ impressions via targeted digital campaigns.
  • Garnered 20,000 votes for charities.
  • Achieved 715,260 OOH reach in Aberdeen and Inverness.
  • 98% of ABC1 adults in Aberdeen saw the campaign an average of 12 times. 
The campaign outperformed expectations for The Press and Journal.
The campaign outperformed expectations for The Press and Journal.

Beyond history, this occasion revitalised The P&J as a guardian of truth, community, and progress, symbolising heritage and heralding the future of telling stories that matter in the north and northeast of Scotland.

About Carly Gilchrist

By continuing to browse or by clicking “ACCEPT,” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance your site experience. To learn more about how we use cookies, please see our privacy policy.