The Independent launched the first quality press title into the market for over 25 years this week. Here, Simon provides his thoughts on the title
The independent has always been just that, an Independent and innovative. Or rather it was. Along with all national press, the title has seen a decline in circulation in the last decade with the ABC figure now somewhere near 100,000
Since Alexander Lebedev purchased the title speculation has been rife about the next step. Many suggesting the most obvious route for the title was to become free, either nationally or in its heart land London.
However, the focus has shifted with the launch of i, a new quality title priced at 20p.
At first glance it is what was expected; a quality daily title with short, concise reporting with quality editorial. It has a slight magazine feel to its structure through the use of colour coding for navigation and each article has a subject header.
So far, so good. It has the short, sharp editorial you find in the Metro (surely its closest rival for readership) with the quality you would expect from a paid for title. It may lack in depth articles and this is sure to be a hotly debated point with the editorial team. The title has 1 strong, in depth editorial piece in the front half and I think this will remain critical to ensure it does offer the in depth, comment and opinion that you can’t associate with the Metro.
As a recent Twitter convert (I know, I should have been doing it a long time ago – @boutiquemc if you’re interested) I like the day’s news summarised through tweets from around the world. This one included the Dalai Lama and Rio Ferdinand. I can’t confess to following either of them!
All the usual sections are there. TV, Health, Food, Arts (London folk love the arts you know) Business and Sport.
So, does it work? Does it have a future? It s a bold move, there’s no question about that. I do think people would enjoy the title and the quality editorial it offers in a punchy style but I just can’t decide if it will sell. Sure, people might like it but will they go out of their way to actually buy a copy everyday when the Metro is shoved in their hand as they race to the platform 4. Only time will tell.
One thing that might make this a master stroke is converting i readers to the independent on a weekend. That would make it a successful decision.
TV sponsorship is on the up. A market place worth £190m in 2008 we continue to see a growing interest in the platform
Fed by a desire to create stronger resonance with the audience and minimise ad avoidance, brands are seeing the increased benefit of programme integration
So does it work, or rather, why does it work?
We think there are 5 key strengths:
Integration with content – Firstly, sponsor s are increasingly seen as part of the program. The lines between sponsorship and programme integration will continue to grow more hazy meaning sponsors truly will be a part of the programme. This integration also means less avoidance. The increase in sky+ usage continues at a rapid pace and alongside this we see greater levels of ad avoidance. Naturally, sponsorship swerves this ad avoidance due to the ‘ins and outs’ from the programming. Further, the placement of sponsor credits also provides a natural start and finish to program segments
Emotional engagement – Research has suggested that sponsors are seen as less ‘sales driven’, a sponsor isn’t making a hard sell. Creatives are a pretty smart bunch so I’m not too sure that many adverts are hard selling (other than those horrid DR daytime ads) so this only goes to prove the subconscious relationship people hold with a sponsor. Sponsor the right program and expect a warm and fuzzy response seems to be the way. Rather, if you sponsor a programme that reflects your brands traits people will engage more quickly and more thoroughly with the sponsor. This is what Thinkbox described as TV sponsorship making brands ‘famous’.
BrandMatch – No great science here….make sure you sponsor the right programme! Loose women and Maltesers, Pedigree and Dog Rescue, Bombadier and Al Murray’s Happy hour – all make perfect sense and leverage off the programme content. A well matched sponsors and programme also creates the opportunity for the sponsor to ‘own’ the programme. Research by thinkbox has found that the higher the rating of desire to watch the programme, the higher the intention to interact with the sponsor. Get the right match and the chemistry is magic!
Consistency of Exposure – Whilst quite how low the entry costs are often surprise our clients, TV advertising can require big budgets when coverage and frequency is key.
TV sponsorship helps climb this hurdle by delivering consistent exposure of the right audience, at the right time, with minimal wastage and a consistent message becomes more powerful with frequency – again, it’s all about picking the right show.
Cost efficiency – Sure, sponsorship deals often require a premium because of the brand stature of the show (X Factor, BGT, Coronation Street) but if the programme is delivering excellent efficiency of your target audience and minimal delivery of others, it can prove more efficient than airtime.
In summary, TV sponsorship drives the 4 F’s:
Fit – Relevancy of connection with enhance brand proposition
Famous – Brands that sponsor become famous in the eye of the viewer
Fan – A fan of a programme will connect more deeply with the sponsor
Favourite – Sponsoring a person’s favourite show will make you their favourite brand in your sector
There are loads of good examples and there are lots of opportunities in the market place at all times
Interested? Drop me a line to find out more
Apparently, I should by now be moving on, talking about things of real interest to our clients and partners. But hey, we prefer talking about ourselves…..!
In my last blog I talked about where we were, why we changed our name and how it has invigorated our brand. Having spoken to a wider collective of people the feedback on the new brand has been terrific, and I don’t think they were just appeasing us!
Welcome to the first Boutique Media Communications blog. Naturally, it’s about us. I was going to talk about media, the current landscape and all things business like…but I changed my mind. I think it’s more appropriate to tell all our ‘followers’ what to expect from Boutique, why we formed and where we are heading. (more…)
This day the good ship Boutique began her journey across the internets choppy waters.