VG engaged a younger audience by talking about loneliness — in a song

By Mussa Dagnew

VG

Oslo, Norway

Connect      

For VG, Norway’s largest newspaper, it is important to recruit future readers to maintain growth. Therefore, there have been several initiatives targeted to a younger audience in the last few years, both through editorial and marketing campaigns.

One of these initiatives is the event VG-Lista, a free concert with some of the greatest artists in Norway. Although VG Lista has been around for 21 years and is quite popular, we noticed that each year it is harder to impress and engage the youths, especially with generic tactical advertising. We knew that to gain their awareness we had to create a concept based on something that matters to them and connect in an emotional way.

Thousands attend VG-Lista, a free concert staged by VG each year featuring some of Norway's most popular musical artists.
Thousands attend VG-Lista, a free concert staged by VG each year featuring some of Norway's most popular musical artists.

Our insights showed us that many Norwegians from the ages of 13 to 19 are increasingly feeling lonely, and a barrier to attend VG-Lista is that they didn’t have a friend to go with. Hence, our mission was to create awareness with a co-creation campaign, focusing on a subject that is quite important for the young audience: loneliness.

Crowdsourcing a song

Normally, loneliness is not a word associated with concerts, so we had to be creative when working with the subject.

As a solution, we created a platform where teens could anonymously submit their thoughts, words, and phrases about loneliness. Then, the young Norwegian artist Lauren wrote the song “Ensom,” (which means “lonely”), using the words contributed from the young Norwegians. It was possible to follow the process on our social media, and the song was released on Spotify and performed at the concert and on the tour.

To draw attention to the campaign and engage teens to contribute to the song, we created a 360 campaign, including a Web site with entry forms for submissions, social media posts, articles about loneliness with youths, artists, and celebrities, videos, and advertising. Also, each time someone submitted something, they could follow the number of entered submissions in real time.

Popular Norwegian artist Lauren wrote a song about loneliness using sentiments submitted through the VG online platform.
Popular Norwegian artist Lauren wrote a song about loneliness using sentiments submitted through the VG online platform.

The results exceeded our expectations:

  • 28,000 submissions; our goal was 10,000.
  • Seeing Lauren’s performance of the song “Ensom” was one of the top three reasons the target group named as why they looked forward to the concert.
  • More than 470,000 viewed the first show on LIVE TV, and we achieved a market share of 76.9% in our target audience in Norway, which is an increase of 20% from the year before, even in a time when TV consumption is decreasing dramatically.
  • We achieved editorial mentions from different Norwegian media outlets.
  • More than 200,000 streams of the song.
  • The target audience total impression of VG as a newspaper increased by 48% during the period. At the same period, those in the target audience claiming VG as their primary destination for news increased by 33%. We also saw a 24% increase in those saying that they used VG frequently.

The concept and concert were loved by the youths of Norway and was a great way to show how we take them seriously. It gave us a great way to build brand love on the youth’s premises.

About Mussa Dagnew

By continuing to browse or by clicking ‘I 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.
x

I ACCEPT