Integrating commercial editors on Expressen's news desk
Overview of this campaign
Bonnier News Brand Studio is the innovation department of Bonnier News, including some of Sweden's biggest newspapers: Expressen, Dagens industri, Dagens Nyheter, Helsingborgs Dagblad, Sydsvenskan, with a combined reach of five million weekly unique users (Sweden’s total population is just under 10 million). They develop and produce creative concepts for advertisers, with guaranteed reach through the publishers. By combining new expertise in immersive production techniques, such as virtual reality and new video formats, with their unique reputation in content production, they’re in the game to revolutionize branded/native content.
Their close cooperation with the editorial staff makes them truly unique. They work alongside five newsrooms (1200 strong) at the forefront of technology and data in publishing. Their business model is combined with data and insights from the publicists culture, structure and storytelling DNA. 90 percent of the native content is published via the publicists’ CMS. When campaigns are run across all newspapers, the design and tone of the native ads are tweaked according to the publishers different styles.
During 2017 Brand Studio invented brand new ways of integrating its content studio within its newsrooms. They now have senior commercial editors on the editorial staffs serving as hubs for commercial interest and editorial opportunities, allowing them to maximize customer collaborations without jeopardizing editorial integrity.
In November, Expressen’s Editor-in-chief Thomas Mattsson and Anna Arvidsson, Head of Bonnier News Brand Studio, finally tore down the wall completely by integrating commercial editors on Expressen’s news desk. Brand Studio staff now attends all Expressen’s news meetings to learn the day’s news agenda, what stories are being planned, how many articles will run and at what times. They also have access to the news desk’s real-time audience data. The aim: To ensure that the content studio is up to speed on the news cycle and their clients’ place within, and to make sure they embrace the culture and tonality of the publicists.
Results for this campaign
The new product ”real-time native” has become an instant hit. An example: Alex Schulman, one of Sweden’s most prominent media personalities, wrote a hard-hitting article in Expressen criticizing PostNord, the country’s main postal service and one of Bonnier News Brand Studio’s largest clients. The article went viral and complaints from customers flooded in. Having the content studio team plugged into the newsroom meant it could get a head start on responding via native advertising distributed across Expressen’s platforms. In a native ad, PostNord apologized to the unhappy customers but also stressed that Schulman never had any problems with its service. The effect was unbelievable. The readers spent 55 seconds with the native article, compared to the average of 35 seconds. The quick exit was only 20 percent, compared to the average of 50 percent.
Brand Studio is now conceptualizing this product with a business model based on a subscription model. The data proofs that when native adds something extra to the reader, thanks to the loyalty of the publicist, a win-win concept is created.
"The key success factor is the co-operation between the Expressen journalists, the analysts and the Brand Studio. We´re located together, in the very same news room but with different and specific responsibilites, and editorial guidelines and know-how are essential to this new business oppurtunity", says Thomas Mattsson.
“The goal is to master the combination of data insights and the journalist’s know-how, in order to create better native ads with more real-time feeling. Some will say that moving an commercial content manager to the newsroom is offensive. But it’s more offensive how the display market revenue model is built. Click-bait headlines drive page views that creates inventory. Native creates engagement and ads value to our readers. We’re in it for the long run”, says Anna Arvidsson.