Start a New Ritual, Read the Paper - Klay Thompson Campaign for Bay Area News Group
2018 Finalist

Start a New Ritual, Read the Paper - Klay Thompson Campaign for Bay Area News Group

Bay Area News Group

San Jose, United States

Category Brand Awareness Campaigns

Overview of this campaign

The newspaper industry and especially the metro legacy newspapers are being challenged daily with declining profits and print subscriptions.   The only way that the regional papers such as The Mercury News and East Bay Times (San Francisco Bay Area) will survive is by being aggressive and including a lot of experimenting and innovation in their brand marketing strategy.

The Bay Area is a great place for a sports fan with quite a few very successful and well known pro sports teams and our research data shows routinely that most of our subscribers are also huge sports fans.  Our sports reporting is world-class and our sports section is one of the best in the country.

In the spring of 2017 the marketing team at Bay Area News Group (The Mercury News and East Bay Times) decided to try something out-of-the-box for the newspaper industry standards: to sign an admired local sports hero,  a two-time NBA champion and four-time all star Klay Thompson (The Golden State Warriors) to become Bay Area News Group spokesman and a brand ambassador for its daily newspapers.

Although athlete endorsement is far from being a new concept in advertising and marketing, it is unusual and innovative for the newspaper industry, and the reason why we were able to break through the noise in the past few months!  This endorsement was also spot on because it really resonated with our current subscribers who are Warriors fans, those who are into sports in general and garnered new audience who is not currently subscribed to our products.

The goal for the campaign was two-fold:  1) Increase brand awareness for the daily news brands The Mercury News, East Bay Times and Marin Independent Journal and the parent brand  Bay Area News Group 2) increase readership both print and digital


Results for this campaign

The Klay Thompson campaign ( raised an incredible amount of buzz and was featured on ESPN, USA Today, Reddit, The NBA Ringer Show and Editor and Publisher.   The slogan for the campaign " Start a new ritual, read the paper" was based on the authentic pre game ritual of Thompson to read the newspaper.    It is the authenticity and the sincerity of the campaign that brought it success, lots of positive brand mentions and new customers.  

The campaign included OOH (TV, radio, billboards, bus kings, in-house ads), a robust paid digital campaign (programmatic, social, search, retargeting), an aggressive email campaign and creative POS such as live size Klay cut outs to be used at kiosks and events. 

We were able to drive 50,000 visits to the landing page since the launch in late October that drove over 2000 conversions so far.  The Social reach was incredible with Klay Thompson's Instagram views at 220,000, Twitter at 68,000 and Facebook at 2700 views. 

The projected brand lift from earned media (Comscore): UV's for the sites who featured the story show 117M/46% reach for multimedia and 32M/15% reach for desktop only which is incredible for a regional newspaper.

Pre and post wave research findings demonstrate that the campaign was incredibly successful.  The campaign impact on brand awareness was as follows: aided awareness for BANG went up from 37% to 56%, Mercury News unaided awareness from 20% to 26%, East Bay Times aided awareness from 46% to 55%.  Campaign impact on likelihood to purchase: Mercury News uplift from 21% to 42%, East Bay Times from 17% to 31% and Marin Independent Journal from 8% to 15%.  



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