We made our most transparent campaign ever. We honestly told consumers we were trying to sell them a newspaper, while telling them which tricks we were using to do so. But not without adding that it was all for a noble cause because the more newspapers De Standaard sold, the better its journalists could investigate the truth. We did research on which tactics and strategies worked the best for every specific medium and then turned those insights into bespoke creative messages. Boosting both immediate sales and De Standaard’s image as a reliable source for truth. Even in its advertising.
After having gathered data and insights about the tricks in every medium, we made custom creative messages for each one of them. The campaign ran for 3 weeks, over more than 10 media channels. The ad placement was a major part of our execution, as every creative message referred to the medium we were using.
By honestly telling costumers which tactics we were using to convince them we could use some cheap advertising tricks that actually worked. As far as immediately measurable results go, this led to:
• An increase of over 30% in click-through rate on our banners
• Average time spent looking at our social video ads went up with 19%
• 17% more subscriptions sold.
We used all the specific advertising tricks per medium, while denouncing them at the same time. The same creative idea of trying to sell people a newspaper by honestly telling them which tricks we were using to do so, was executed in: radio, tv, print, bus stop posters, POS, social videos and posts, direct mailing, sampling, online bannering and 6” digital billboards. Each media channel required a unique creative message, resulting in over 40 individual messages.
Insights, Strategy and the Idea
De Standaard has lost a lot of readers. Older readers who pass away are not replaced by younger readers. So, this campaign had to be aimed at a large target audience, but with a specific appeal to people between 25-35. Research showed that this target group had lost faith in traditional quality media, and gathered their news from doubtable sources.
De Standaard wants to be a beacon of reliability and truthful news. But a newspaper that wants to take a stand in this debate has to be completely transparent itself.