CASSIES Bronze: La Presse turns the page to a new readership

The French-language paper launched a free daily news app for iPad, plus an integrated campaign to promote it.
for web

Best Launch

Situation Analysis: La Presse, the largest French-language daily in North America, suffering from a swiftly diminishing readership due to the rapid growth of digital communications, had already launched online platforms with and La Presse Mobile. As the growth of tablet penetration rates was three-times higher than that of smartphones, La Presse developed La Presse+, a uniquely intuitive, interactive and free daily news app for iPad that provided a new edition every morning filled with exclusive content. The launch campaign had to ensure a critical mass of downloads quickly to create excitement, conveying the product’s uniqueness while maintaining the content’s credibility.

Insight & Strategy: The key to converting readers to LaPresse+ depended on convincing early adopters and opinion leaders that La Presse+ included everything they came to like about La Presse – the ritual of flipping through, sorting and/or spreading out the different sections – but with an improved experience, access and content. The new product would be first showcased to the innovators and early adopters then followed, using ambassador testimonials, by a second target, the “early majority,” before finally being targeted to the “late majority” – indecisive consumers who had not really understood what the product was about.

Execution: First launched in April 2013, multiple creative pieces announcing the free download of LaPresse+ from the AppStore or La were produced across television, OOH, web, radio, print and experiential. The product was offered to current La Presse readers and subscribers in order to encourage them to download the app, while notifications of new, exclusive content were sent to those who had already downloaded it in order to promote regular use. In fall 2013, a TV campaign featuring current La Presse+ readers was launched. More than 370 outlets and 12,000 hours of product demos were used to educate thousands of potential readers about the product and generate trial.

Results: Against targets of 200,000 downloads after 120 days and 400,000 in the first year, La Presse+ exceeded the 120-day target by 50,000+ downloads and had exceeded its 12-month target by early 2014, rising to 550,000 downloads after 15 months. The 175,000 readers per week goal was exceeded after only three weeks. In 2013, La Presse+ was the most downloaded iPad app in the “Newstands, Canada” category. On average, 120,000 unique tablet users spend 44 minutes during the week and 73 minutes during the weekend on LaPresse+. The app now generates 35% of the global advertising revenues of La Presse.

Cause & Effect: La Presse+ was a new product, completely unknown to the public. Awareness of La Presse+ began a month before the product launch with a conference and press release, the product benefiting from wide media coverage: after six weeks, 58% of Montrealers knew about La Presse+. Of current La Presse+ readers, 81% now see LaPresse as more modern and innovative, while 74% were not readers of the paper version when the app was launched.

Client: La Presse Limitée
VP marketing: Michel Gagnon
Sr. director marketing: Christiane Dubé
Director, digital brand strategies: Yves Lebon
Agency: Cossette
VP client lead: Joanne Nantel
VP strategic planning: Florence Girod
CCO: Antoine Bécotte
CD: Barbara Jacques
ACD: Anik Ouellet
ADs: Isabelle Allard, Claudie Grenier-Côté, Capucine Labarthe, Maxime Sauté
CWs: Patrick Michaud, Geneviève Cardinal
Computer graphics: Nathalie Boucher, Maxime Bluteau
Client services: Nathalie Quirion, Simon St Germain, Emmanuelle Girard
Media director: Julie Courtemanche
Media planner: Steve Richer
Media digital planner: Simon Garnaud
Retouchers: Daniel Cartier, René Lachapelle
Digital AD: Sébastien Guy
Digital production: Simon Bugeaud, Michael Aspiros