High-quality advertising campaigns take advantage of print, digital spaces

By Lewis Boulton


London, United Kingdom


Lots of publications share trends and predictions in the first couple of weeks after the new year. This one is really going to shock you: Digital is going to be big in 2022.

OK, maybe that’s a little too obvious. But then again, do we really understand what someone means when they use the catchall phrase “digital?” Are they talking about social media sites? Streaming platforms for video or audio? News Web sites, blogs, and influencers? All of these things?

As Newsworks research and insight director Denise Turner said in a recent piece, not all digital spaces are equal in the experiences they give to either advertisers or readers, nor in the quality of content they deliver.

“Not all digital display [advertising] is the same,” she wrote, “even though it is often thought of and bought as though it is. Programmatic bidding models strip out the context, leading to lower returns and potentially damaging issues around brand health.”

That isn’t at all to say digital display is bad: The sheer size of the Internet means it can reach consumers across a wide variety of audiences in creative ways. But when all the Internet’s sites and platforms are amalgamated into one concept with little thought to what content they show and whether it can be trusted, sometimes the message can get lost or come across in unintended ways.

Meanwhile, the impending decline of the cookie next year has boosted the attractiveness of large-scale, first-party data services put together by news publishers across their wide-reaching portfolios both on- and offline. Trust is just one of the advantages of both quality print and digital ad spaces, and the opportunities for brands and their campaigns have become harder to ignore.

But what does that creative look like in practice? Here are some of the best multi-media campaigns to give your brand some inspiration for 2022.

Sky Glass

The Sun’s striking campaign greeted both readers of the print publication with a full cover wrap takeover and visitors to The Sun’s homepage, where video and graphics brought Sky Glass to life. Whether readers consume their news in print, on their devices, or both, these partnerships don’t miss any opportunity to speak to consumers in spaces where they’re primed to listen.


This campaign really takes advantage of both eye-catching visuals and the interactive power of digital.

In print, the creative is sleek and stylish, inspiring readers with simple calls to action. In digital, the power is now in the readers’ hands, as they can choose for themselves which colour they like best. Cream, anyone?


The advantages of a multi-media approach to news brand advertising can also be put to good use for good causes. Movember is a campaign encouraging men to grow moustaches throughout November to raise awareness for men’s physical and mental health issues.

As the ads demonstrate with humour and inclusivity, anyone can give it a go — whether they read their news online, in print, or both. The campaign also paired well with digital paid partnership content, with the fun of the moustache placed integrated with serious discussions about male suicide prevention.

All Together

The possibilities for print and digital don’t stop with individual titles and publishers. The pandemic gave rise to a new collaborative model of news brand advertising, not just among the United Kingdom’s national news brands, but among publishers representing towns, cities, and regions across the country as well.

Within just one week of receiving the brief from the government in April 2020, a team of experts from across the news industry worked around the clock to deliver a clear, iconic message to millions of readers: “Stay at home.” Since then, the specialist team has worked on more than 70 briefs to communicate vital COVID-19 messaging to keep readers safe and informed.

The creative, which included recent calls to get booster jabs, have featured across cover wraps and homepage takeovers, with paid partnership content driving similar and more in-depth information while catering to each news brand’s readership.

About Lewis Boulton

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