While editorial and sales have long been uneasy bedfellows in the world of newspapers, they've been forced to get a bit cosier in recent years. That's exactly what APN and Tourism Australia did for the 'Explore Your Australian Passions' campaign and the content-led initiative caught the eye of the judges at the International News Media Association Awards (INMA), winning first place in the 'Best Marketing Solution for an Advertising Client' category.
APN took the business off Fairfax in 2013 and, working in partnership with Tourism Australia, its media agency OMD and Air New Zealand, it created a cohesive 12-month content marketing, media and creative strategy to drive quality audience engagement across mobile, tablet, desktop and print, with four well-known New Zealanders—Judy Bailey, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, Jon Bridges and Michael Van de Elzen— packing their bags, indulging their various passions and writing stories about it.
Research showed the campaign was a big success, with 80 percent of respondents recalling the advocates (unprompted) and the perception of Australia as a diverse destination almost doubling from pre to post-campaign.
"This was driven by the content on offer across all mastheads, the integrated editorial, and the hub content which reached over 22,000 uniques per week," said the APN entry. "Despite starting from an already high base, intention to visit Australia also grew among the target by an unprecedented ten percent."
The four week promotion showcased an advocate and their passion each week. Entrants answered a simple daily question relating to an article in the hub and this entry mechanism helped readers engage and uncover the diversity and choice Australia offered outside of the main gateways.
"Total entries were at 245 percent over KPI, unique opt-ins reached almost 60 percent, and the digital campaign achieved impressive click-through rates. eDMs were sent to the NZ Herald and NZ Woman’s Weekly databases with open rates of over 30 percent. The retargeted eDMs deployed in week three achieved an open rate of nearly 70 percent. This level of eDM open rate was a first for both APN and Tourism Australia, and shows that the goal of creating an engaged database was exceeded."
"This is a fantastic achievement for the team who has worked incredibly hard to deliver fantastic results for our client," says David Hoath, group advertising director at APN. "This fully integrated campaign across editorial, sales, digital and marketing has delivered unprecedented results with over a million Kiwis visiting Australia for the first time ever in 2013."
Following on from its win of the inaugural best brand campaign at the Canon Media Awards for the Herald's 150th celebrations, the APN marketing team also won second place for the campaign in the 'Best Idea to Grow Single Copy Sales' category. APN also took second place in the 'Best Idea to Grow Subscription Sales' for its 'Partnering for Sustained Growth' strategy, which focused on partnering with businesses to offer their customers trial subscriptions.
"We're standing tall with some amazing brands such as The New York Times, South China Morning Post and London's Evening Standard," says Kursten Shalfoon, chief marketing officer. "We're feeling very proud right now. It's been an absolute privilege working on the Herald's 150th birthday celebration. It's not every day you get to work on such a milestone event with such an iconic brand."
Fairfax took one second place for the “Sunday Star-Times Hot Wheels” campaign in the Best Idea to Grow Single Copy Sales category.
Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and chief executive at INMA, said "The common theme was engagement on new platforms and developing a relationship with consumers across multiple platforms. For advertisers, there are so many more audience and platform options and the challenge for media companies is syncing with options. The creativity was fantastic."
And here are the big winners:
- Best In Show: The coveted “Best in Show” award, signifying the best campaign in the INMA Awards 2014 competition, went to Schibsted’s VG for its “VG Chess World Championship 2013.”
The VG initiative sought to build awareness for Norway's little-known chess prodigy, Magnus Carlsson, who was taking part in the World Chess Championships in India and whom VG was sponsoring. The challenge was to create buzz among the general public and get them to follow the progress of the championships on VG.
Yet how could VG achieve this when the company didn’t have the broadcast rights? The solution was to create “Chess For the People,” which saw the launch of a new digital service, VG Direct. A mixture of humourous and expert commentaries were streamed live on VG Direct, and dialogue with the audience was created via social media.
Six out of 10 Norwegians tuned in to VG Direct to follow the Chess Championships, which was more than the national broadcaster achieved.
Judges called the VG Chess World Championship 2013 campaign a “true cross-media and innovative effort,” a “reference model of multi-media campaigns,” an example of how to make “minor” events “transcend,” and an “inspiring” initiative that “got the average Joe interested.”