W targets auto and financial execs

After relaunching Canada's first all-women's television channel and rebranding its image from WTN to the fresh, fun W Network, the Corus Entertainment-owned station is now in full audience grab mode. By now, most viewers are aware that W is a revamped version of WTN and it's time to start building the business.

After relaunching Canada’s first all-women’s television channel and rebranding its image from WTN to the fresh, fun W Network, the Corus Entertainment-owned station is now in full audience grab mode. By now, most viewers are aware that W is a revamped version of WTN and it’s time to start building the business.

The W Network believes that women are largely overlooked when the financial and automotive sectors produce their marketing messages. To combat this, it sent out 50 promotional packages to various women in executive roles, both at the client and agency levels in these categories on June 27.

‘We want to convince advertisers who don’t target women that they play a tremendous role and hold great clout,’ explains Susan Schaefer, VP of marketing at Corus. ‘Women are underrecognized by the automotive and financial marketers, and we just want to tell them that, ‘hey you should talk to them.”

Women in the financial industry at companies like Royal Bank, Bank of Montreal, TD Canada Trust and Fidelity Investments will receive a ‘Compact-Calculator.’ The item is disguised as a powder compact, but when opened it contains a mirror and a calculator–no makeup. On the mirror is a removable overlay that reads ‘Women control 75% of family finances. Go where the money is.’

Likewise, women at auto manufacturers like GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda and Nissan will have a ‘Map Cover Book’ sent to them. The bright orange book, embossed with a compass (naturally, the west direction is replaced with the W logo), contains a map inside, ‘how to reach women’ statistics and facts relevant to auto advertisers, such as women influence 80% of family car purchases

‘We’ve had great success with similar initiatives for YTV,’ Schaefer says. ‘We had to convince YTV advertisers to talk to kids, not moms. This is a long-term strategy. Minds don’t change overnight, but, it’s just a matter of time before these industries realize they should be talking to women too.’

Within a few weeks, W will send out more goodies to the same high-powered women. A W-shaped car freshener with ‘women love that new car smell,’ written on the back will be sent to the automotive executives. Along the same lines, financial executives will receive a silver money clip with the W logo.

The calculator-compact and the map book are the second part of the W Network’s trade campaign to raise the channel’s profile to advertisers. Since May 21, its Toronto-based agency, Zig, has been decorating the men’s and women’s washrooms at agencies like MaxMedia and MBS/The Media Company, and W-logoed bananas were also sent out touting The Sunday Night Sex Show.

‘That first strategy was much broader – 300 people were targeted – whereas our newest one is extremely focused,’ Schaefer says. ‘But the premise is the same: to tell advertisers that we are different but that we take a modern approach and that we can offer insight and research about women to help build their brand as well as ours.’