2015 Finalist

Ottawa Citizen Trending Since 1845 Campaign

Postmedia Network Inc.

Calgary, Canada

Category Brand Awareness Campaigns

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

• Build brand awareness and increase relevance with new four platform strategy
• Drive downloads of new smartphone and tablet apps
• Increase digital audience

On May 20, 2014 in Ottawa, Postmedia launched the pilot project for a national plan, to differentiate content across platforms and refresh our legacy brands. This approach, called “Reimagined,” is based on new insights into audiences taken from extensive proprietary market research completed by Ipsos with 17,000 18+ Adults in our seven major metro markets across the country.

Audiences who read our print editions are not the same as those who read our journalism and advertising on their desktops or via mobile devices. So we re-thought our products to provide different content to different audiences at different times of the day.

The strategy aimed to attract new readers and engage current readers more deeply, and to create opportunities for advertisers to target and engage with their customers more effectively.

To succeed, the Ottawa Citizen “Reimagined” project drew on hundreds of our people from across the Postmedia network at every level, from newsrooms to business technology to marketing, from advertising sales to reader sales and services.
While Citizen staff members worked through dry runs of the new products, Postmedia’s marketing department worked closely with London-based Winkreative agency on a redesigned masthead, logo and brand identity and with agency of record Sid Lee on a comprehensive advertising campaign to ensure the new products launched with a bang.

And they did. Praise for the new strategy and the newly envisaged suite of products has been profuse and garnered international attention as a significant strategic initiative in the fast-changing media world.

The result was an integrated national and local marketing & communications execution to support “Reimagined” with both internal and external components.

Results for this campaign

The redesigned Ottawa Citizen launched May 20, 2014, with:

  • Eight-week multi-media campaign on- and off-network with digital, video, transit and OOH display, Wifi sponsorship in local Starbucks and takeovers at the Ottawa airport.
  • Marketing included a comprehensive re-branding of all internal/external branded assets; on-network creative campaign utilizing print, web, tablet, mobile, e-marketing and social media; SEM campaign; off-network campaign; Special Delivery launch activities for advertisers and key influencers.
  • Reader Sales & Services completed redesign of all subscription and product pages online and the complete redesign of all creative materials and supporting documents.
  • B2B was an integral part of the success, with the development of a new advertising website; updated collateral for the Sales team, B2B client event, and an event in Toronto for our national clients.

The Reimagined launch campaign creative was a testament to the Ottawa Citizen’s 160-year history in the nation’s capital—with a contemporary spin. We tied together our long history as the city’s publication of record, our tradition of integrity, credibility and first-class journalism with a 21st century feel. We introduced our Ottawa Citizen “top hat guy” as he came to be known, appropriately costumed as he would be in 1845 but with subtle details in grooming and style to make him not out of place in a 2014 environment. We then placed our gentleman in contemporary settings, some with a slight vintage flavour, and featured each of our reimagined platforms in the images. The creative images, beautifully styled and photographed, were then coupled with bold, and sometimes cheeky, but decidedly contemporary headlines, juxtaposing our history and integrity with a message of continuing relevance for today. This is the “Trending Since 1845” Reimagined launch campaign for the Ottawa Citizen.

Q1 2014 vs Q1 2015 (post OC launch)
• Unique Visitors across all digital up 41%
• Desktop Unique Visitors up 6.5%
• 28,000 new tablet app downloads post launch!
• 28,000 new smartphone app downloads post launch
• Sold out all launch advertising packages


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