Overview of this campaign
With the ongoing decline in newspaper circulation and pressure to improve campaign profitability the recently created National Retail Marketing team were charged with bringing to market a consumer promotion that would deliver a spike in casual paper sales in a cost effective manner. After tapping into macro consumer and shopper trends it was decided that returning to the traditional merchandise based promotional model would give the best chance for success HOWEVER it would require a new approach to ensure success.
This new approach focussed on:
- The merchandise offer and mechanic being validated via market research
- The communication campaign must highly emotional leverage a deep consumer insight and amplified across all touch points
- All areas of the business need to be actively involved in building the support program particularly editorial and PR
- In-store execution for all states to be managed in a co-ordinated and disciplined manner ensuring the right stock placement in the right stores merchandised in a more effectively manner.
Whilst there are 2 key objectives being to drive circulation and revenue the offer also needed to ultimately deliver against a broader set of criteria being:
- Consistent with our brand and its positioning around informing, educating and advising our readers.
- Can be linked to a bigger cause that is important to the community and editorially.
- The concept is powerful because it leverages an existing strong brand.
- The concept is of unquestioned value, when compared to purchasing the same product elsewhere.
- The concept can be well integrated into our communication channels, most particularly our editorial content, but also externally through media partnership.
Results for this campaign
We first set out to develop the right offer by embarking on a research program to understand:
- The biggest incremental volume opportunity by consumer segment
- What promotional merchandise had the highest appeal
- Merchandise pricing before diminishing returns
Families with small children who were low to medium frequency shoppers were identified as the best opportunity for incremental sales. Among them, the offer that resonated strongest was Sir David Attenborough’s (SDA) series of natural history DVD’s. As a result we partnered with the BBC to create a 14-part collection chosen by SDA personally. The chosen mechanic was to issue the first DVD and collector’s case free with purchase of the paper on the launch day and each additional DVD was $2.50 with original token from the newspaper.
The big campaign idea was to “cultivate curious kids” and had 3 pillars:
- Establish the issue that kids spend too much time indoors
- Spark kids curiosity by enabling them to ask SDA questions
- Promote the Sir David Attenborough Essential Collection.
This campaign was brought to life leveraging:
Paid ATL advertising:
TV with tailored messages for both a pre-promote and keep collecting messaging; social media to drive discussion and engagement.
- A central editorial lead co-ordinated content spanning front page take overs at launch through to daily editorial integration.
- Unique daily advertisements promoting each days DVD in highly disruptive placements i.e page ‘tip-ons’ and ribbons.
- PR: Original content sourced directly from SDA in the form of letters to children answering their questions. Opinion pieces from experts aired on morning TV.
- POS: A suite of strong POS and selling materials ensured the promotion was unmissable.
The result was:
- Incremental 568,000 copies (vs prior 4wk avg) sold
- $956,000 in profit generated after all costs from merchandise and paper sales (vs a -$1.6m loss during the prior promotion)
- Incremental 122,000 readers.
Moreover this initiative generated positive re-engagement with our retail network creating momentum to work together in building successful future retail campaign.