With the onset of the pandemic, The Wall Street Journal doubled down on creating “news you could use.” This strategy aimed to cut through the online chatter to get readers the facts they needed to make decisions about their lives in the moments that mattered.
This took shape in multiple ways, like providing free, non-paywalled COVID-19 coverage to the public and hosting live Q&A conversations to answer pressing audience questions on everything from COVID vaccines to meme stocks to inflation.
As a result, we were able to attract and convert new audiences, who were overwhelmingly digital, to The Wall Street Journal. This growth to more than 3.4 million members (80% of whom are digital) illuminated the key role that trust plays in reaching and connecting with new audiences.
That insight drove the strategic development of WSJ’s new brand platform, Trust Your Decisions.
The strategic inception point for the campaign was looking at how we could maximise relevancy where the three Cs of communities, context, and content overlapped. The goal was to develop a brand platform that could endure.
Trust Your Decisions was uniquely ownable for WSJ, given each piece of the tagline has relevancy to our brand and audience.
- Trust: This symbolises that The Wall Street Journal is America’s most trusted newspaper and holds this responsibility as sacred.
- Your: This upholds WSJ Opinion’s principles of free markets, free people, and its belief in the agency of individuals to take ownership of their choices and their future.
- Decisions: This emphasises WSJ’s commitment to our purpose, which is to be the definitive source of truth for decision-makers.
Each element of the creative was thoughtfully selected in accordance with this strategic framework. The central colour palette is a nod to the colours within The Wall Street Journal print edition. Supplemental colours modernise the look and feel, and are a careful selection of opposing or spectrum colours that refer to our balanced reporting and neutrality of WSJ’s tone. This work has rolled out company-wide to unify our promotional efforts to readers, wherever they may see us.
The anthem campaign video, “Decisions, Decisions,” brings to life a range of decisions that people are facing in their personal and professional lives. Using a side-by-side visual, we show different vignettes of multiple decision-making moments. These decisions, which are all based on coverage from The Wall Street Journal, were selected based on our engagement data showing that these were key decisions our members and prospective members were facing. Each decision was then specifically highlighted with short-form social clips.
The media strategy
Decision-making was also core to the supporting campaign media strategy. Content marketing was elevated beyond social to out-of-home (OOH) advertising and showcased articles that were answering audience question in real-time like, “How long does vaccine immunity last?” and “Should I invest in cryptocurrency?” Key questions were magnified with a “thought bubble” installation at Bryant Park that invited those returning to work in New York City to catch up with co-workers and chat about big decision moments over a free coffee.
The goal of our media strategy was to drive reach with new audiences. Large-scale brand messaging was rolled out in OOH in high traffic areas of New York City like Times Square and “wild postings” across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Content marketing supplemented brand messaging across social and in OOH across Monihyan Train Hall and JFK Airport.
These placements were captured strategically as travel numbers were ticking up. They used QR codes to drive people to articles that had been made free to read while traveling. Rounding out this reach strategy was the promotion of the video suite across YouTube and connected TV.
The second phase of our media strategy focused on traffic, retargeting audiences who engaged with the reach campaign with open house messaging across social, newsletters, and acquisition campaigns.