Media planners show there’s more to newspaper than you think

Strategy asked media planners from Carat Canada and Wasserman & Partners to come up with plans for hypothetical clients. Their innovative ideas show that what newspaper lacks in glitz it makes up for in versatility, low cost and precision targeting...

Strategy asked media planners from Carat Canada and Wasserman & Partners to come up with plans for hypothetical clients. Their innovative ideas show that what newspaper lacks in glitz it makes up for in versatility, low cost and precision targeting

Carat partners with papers to woo car buyers on the cheap

The assignment

Client: Modatt manufactures entry-level cars for the first-time buyer. The company is based in South Korea and has had great success with English-language advertising on TV and in newspapers across Canada since entering the country last year.

Objective: Brand-building and car sales. Now that the Modatt has established a national presence, the company is going after smaller markets. This campaign will introduce French-speaking car buyers to the brand and, with luck, get them into the dealerships, too.

The client wants a plan for a periodic, year-long newspaper campaign designed to introduce the brand and reinforce its free-and-easy personality.

The media plan

The following plan was created by Isabelle Pelletier, media planner at Montreal-based Carat Canada. She can be reached at (514) 284-4446.

Background: While last year’s English-language campaign was a success, the Quebec market recorded the lowest awareness levels in the country for Modatt. This is not surprising, given that the maximum reach an English campaign can generate against the French population of Montreal is 29%.

Modatt’s upcoming campaign for Montreal francophones will need an extra kick to get the brand awareness needle on par with other regional markets, so an annual brand image campaign is needed. Reinforcing this campaign with tactical efforts during key sales periods (spring and fall) will increase dealership traffic and support sales objectives.

According to research conducted by Maritz, almost half (47%) of first-time car buyers are between the ages of 20 and 29, evenly split between male and female. This segment is a relatively small and fickle portion of the entire car-buying market and will require a ‘youngish’ mass media appeal campaign.

Finally, optimizing media investments is always a challenge for new brands entering the market – share-of-voice is a tough battle. A quick ACNielsen competitive analysis showed our closest competitor’s Montreal media spend at $2.3 million. Modatt’s media budget for this year will be 60% of that, for a total of $1.38 million. But if you consider that Modatt has half the number of dealerships as its closest competitor, the budget ratio is a realistic reflection of the market.

Strategy: Consulting newspapers is the starting point for most, if not all, customers in search of a new car. The big idea here is to take advantage of this cluttered environment by creating an outstanding concept. Modatt’s image ad will be positioned at the centre of the page and shaped like the car’s profile. Editorial content will surround the ad. Use of this uncommon format was accepted by the newspapers if we agreed to pay full page rates.

Now let’s get customers in the dealers’ showrooms. For this tactical campaign, we will need to boost share-of-voice without breaking the bank. By leveraging our relationship with Le Journal de Montreal (without short-circuiting effectiveness), and by developing a promotional partnership in which the paper would give away a car each week for four weeks, we persuaded Quebecor to ink a cross-media marketing deal.

The promotional concept had legs and it coincided with BBM’s spring television survey, so Quebecor offered up television (TVA) and Internet (Canoe) components for the promotion.

Execution: In order to adequately reach our target, both La Presse and Le Journal de Montreal are needed. Add the two trend-setting urban weeklies Voir and Ici Montreal, and you have a high impact campaign.

The campaign launch is scheduled for early spring, piggybacking on Montreal’s Salon de l’auto activities. Funds are sufficient to provide year-long omnipresence, with higher message frequency during spring and fall. As dealerships are closed on Saturday, we will mainly use the Monday and Wednesday newspaper editions. Despite the fact that automobile sections are available on those days, we recommend first section positioning where readership is highest. Finally, taking into account poor colour reproduction in the Montreal papers, black-and-white ads will be used.

After a couple of weeks of image advertising, the promotional component will commence. Two-third page ads containing coupons will be placed three times a week in Le Journal de Montreal. The ad content will invite readers to tune into TVA to watch for a small Modatt car to appear on the screen during the course of regular programming and to note the time on the coupon. A minimum of 150 GRPs per week on TVA will also tout the promotion. Canoe will offer information and a link to Modatt’s Web site. Coupons must be redeemed at the consumer’s closest Modatt dealer.

Following successful results of this promotional campaign, all partners are open to developing a similar concept for the fall period.

Impact: Over the course of one year, 5,860 GRPs will be generated against Montreal-based francophone adults ages 18 to 49 years, with over 70 million gross impressions. More importantly, by taking advantage of Quebecor’s media tentacles, Modatt will be able to dominate share-of-voice in the market, despite a lower media investment.

Wasserman goes anti-banner to flog furniture

The assignment

Client: HomeSpace is a national upscale modern furniture chain based in Vancouver. It has stores in Halifax, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. The client has never advertised in newspapers before.

Objective: The client is looking for an ongoing newspaper media plan that will continuously drive local traffic to stores across Canada.

The primary target includes males and females over 25 with total annual incomes over $75,000. Generally, these are people who would shop at low-cost, modern design stores, but they have a larger income and are looking for better quality and an opportunity to express their individuality.

The media plan

This plan was created by Andeen Pitt, media director at Vancouver’s Wasserman & Partners Advertising. She can be reached at (604) 684-1111.

Target: First, let’s look at upscale Canadians with household incomes of $75,000 or more who bought furniture in the past year:

• 91% own their own homes

• 80% are married

• 63% read yesterday’s daily newspaper

• 81% read a newspaper in the past seven days

Psychographically, these people care about where they live and what they own. Their possessions reflect their sense of quality and more importantly, who they are. They are entertaining at home frequently and their surroundings tell people their story. They are entertaining for business as well as pleasure, so the mission goes beyond casual impressions.

Timing: There are key times when entertaining is more frequent and the awareness of one’s home becomes apparent. Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Thanksgiving, the back-to-school season, spring and fall are among them.

The medium: The newspaper medium is about news, information and commentary. It’s about immediacy. It offers high reach of an upscale audience, especially in urban centres.

Strategy: The creative needs a fighting chance to be seen.

We’ll avoid the ‘ad ghetto’ – the section at the bottom of the page where newspapers tend to stack their short, squat ads – by running tall, vertical ads (we’ll request a right-hand page, trim edge). This ensures at least some of the ad will be adjacent to editorial, potentially improving noticeability and therefore readership. We’ll call this the anti-banner strategy.

Furniture is not just about home decorating. It is about personal and professional expression. The framework for the creative will underscore that. The creative brief from media will lean toward home magazines and away from screaming furniture sale stereotypes.

The ads should feature a specific item each week with a twist to get people expecting a little jolt from the same space. Frequent ads during the key periods outlined above should focus on going beyond pure decorating issues. We’re after prompt action.

In most of the key markets, we’d recommend the broadsheet paper for its higher reach and cost effectiveness against our upscale target.

In the highly fragmented market of Toronto, a combination of The Toronto Star, the National Post and The Globe and Mail would have to be used. In Vancouver, although The Vancouver Sun will reach more of our target, it is not as strong as the stand-alone broadsheets in other markets. Here it is recommended that both The Vancouver Sun and The Province be used, particularly since this is the client’s home city.

We’ll be in the news section because we are news (plus this is the most-read section). Our ads will be presented as solutions, reflections, and personal trail markers to agitate and excite potential traffic.

Size matters. We’ll stand tall and dominate the page. We’ll give up colour for size – since colour restricts ad placement sometimes – unless colour is a key feature of the item or story.

We’ll lean toward pre-weekend buys to create an atmosphere that encourages people to plan for that Saturday or Sunday visit.

We’ll talk to our audience three times a week during key periods, weekly at other times. In the end, the campaign will aim to make our brand part of the way people express themselves to each other.

Also in this report:

- Upheaval presents challenges, opportunities: Marketing efforts are way up as newspapers confront make-or-break time p.B1

- Media planners show there’s more to newspaper than you think p.B5

- A medium for all messages: Papers an ideal ad vehicle for info-to-image bridge p.B6