The Making of Real Journalism
2018 Finalist

The Making of Real Journalism

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta, United States

Category Best Use of Video

Overview of this campaign

At the end of each fiscal year, publicly traded companies produce an annual report for shareholders, telling them why they’ve been a good investment. Newspapers have shareholders, too — whether part of a publicly traded or privately held company. Our “shareholders” are the subscribers who invest in real journalism through their subscriptions.

That background provides the premise for the branded content campaign at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). We saw the end of the year as a timely opportunity to look back at 2017, thank our subscribers, and reinforce what they value most from us: knowing what’s really going on.

AJC took a creative and different approach to the idea of an annual report, developing a year-end “community impact” native advertising campaign, which was heavily driven by video. 

“The Making of Real Journalism” videos go behind the scenes with Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s journalists. They passionately talk about their work to report what’s really going on, the essential role the newspaper plays in the community and the importance of subscribers. Through their words and the most powerful and impactful news images of the year – and a music soundtrack – a powerful story of value comes to life. In the end, we decided the most powerful message about the making of real journalism should come from those who dedicate their lives to it.

In order to maximize and optimize distribution, we produced five versions: a showcase video length (2:40) and four shorter “snackable” :15, :30:30 and :60 versions. The videos were placed within our native advertising campaign (ad networks and social media) throughout the month of December. They were tremendously popular with over 1.4 million views.

We plan to continue use of these videos in 2018 – on broadcast tv, in community presentations, new employee orientation, company meetings and within subscriber channels.

Results for this campaign

This package of videos, the centerpiece of a year-end campaign, delivered impressive results and surpassed all projections.

 “The Making of Real Journalism” showcase video and four shorter “snackable” :15, :30, :30 and :60 versions were viewed more than 1.4 million times.

Social comments came from across the political spectrum, but we also saw a significant showing of support from commenters on the importance of journalism in society. The overall feedback rating from Facebook is “high,” which is an exceptionally important result since it can be challenging when social comments are focused on the subjects of news and journalism.

All other elements from the complete native advertising campaign were optimised to increase total time spent with content and are housed at The AJC’s campaign will provide a dynamic case study for the sales department to showcase our branded content capabilities to others.

When subscribers see the return on their investment, they will continue to fund the important work that we do to inform and serve our customers and community.

We believe these videos tell a powerful story about the making of real journalism at the AJC and the essential role we play in the community. We believe they will have application beyond this campaign in community presentations, new employee orientation, company meetings and within subscriber channels. 



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