From Newspaper to ‘Newsbrand’

The oft maligned newspaper industry has frequently been accused of being (for want of a better term), “yesterday’s news” but, in the UK at least, positive steps appear to have been made this past week to address the evolving environment that newspapers are currently in.

The Newspaper Marketing Agency (UK) has rebranded itself as Newsworks. Their core objective is to “help advertisers and agencies harness the power of national ‘newsbrands’ – in all their forms – to achieve their communication objectives”.  It is funded by six national newspaper groups in the UK including Guardian News & Media, Independent Print Limited, Mail Newspapers, Mirror Group Newspapers, News International and Telegraph Media Group.  The organisation provides a range of services including research, case studies, creative benchmarking and training.

So what is the reason for the rebrand?   As Roy Greenslade highlighted in his Guardian blog this past Monday, the rebrand is “indicative of the changed landscape of the news industry”, i.e. the ways in which people consume and engage with news content are changing before our very eyes.  The new reality for publishers is that while consumer appetite for news and entertainment has not dwindled, the platforms through which content is consumed has changed dramatically.  The advent of mobile technology via smart phone and tablet has made accessing information on-the-go much easier and is actively contributing to a change in the consumption patterns of news and entertainment content.  Although print circulations are in decline, the printed product is still obviously a huge part of the mix for ‘newsbrands’ but it is (and will continue to be) just that, a single part of a multi platform offering.

Rebranding their marketing body as Newsworks is a clear sign that the UK industry has accepted this new reality.  Just take a minute to look at the actual name, Newsworks.  It is a clear signal that the definition of the newspaper publisher is being redefined.  Publishers or newsbrands can no longer be defined solely on the production of a daily printed product.  At their core, they are providers of content, whether it covers news, lifestyle, entertainment or sport.  Newsbrands still have huge influence within society and have the innate ability to generate debate amongst both the general public and rival media. According to Newsworks, in the UK, although the methods of content consumption and distribution of newsbrands content is becoming more varied, the rate at which people are beginning to access newsbrands on digital platforms is increasing faster than print readership is contracting.  This is clear evidence that the core offering from newsbrands is still relevant, important and being actively sought out by consumers.

The future for what we used to term ‘newspapers’ is clear.  It is now time to embrace it.

Garret Monahan – Head of Press

*Image courtesy of user sparkle glowplug on flickr


Carat Case Study: Lucozade YES Launch

Taking the new globally-developed Lucozade masterbrand positioning and making it contextually relevant and engaging at a local level.

Our challenge was to rapidly establish the new Lucozade promise brought to life through the “YES” messaging, and to contextualise its deeper meaning into the DNA of each individual brand. All the individual brand communications could then ladder up to a stronger Lucozade “voice”.

The Lucozade brand had high levels of awareness and appeal, particularly among its core young male customers, but needed to make the Lucozade masterbrand positioning clear and relevant to their world. The most valuable consumers were ‘now activists’ – ruled by sociability, symbols and newness. Finding, absorbing and sharing content first was highly motivating for them. And no brand in the soft drinks category was delivering this.

The big idea was simply to treat the launch not as an ad campaign, but rather the release of new content. The campaign was launched through a planned eco-system of activity, which defined the type and depth of communications we wanted to take place. This framework allowed us to prescribe the energy-flow behind each media channel’s role at each stage of the customer response to the campaign, rather than simply
stating which channels to buy. Within the eco-system, every piece of activity has an effect on everything else within it, ensuring early pull-through from our now
activists. Lucozade’s eco-system had 3 key areas that had to integrate and relate to one another to ensure a cohesive launch behind the new brand promise. The purpose of each phase was to generate consumer expression, not impressions, primarily judged by the success of the new Facebook profile.

The three phases were:

  1.  SEED

The basis of this was to launch in a big way, but in very select environments, leveraging the viral nature of our core consumers.
We made an event of the days around the launch day by dominating all key channels (including roadblocking the entry points to social media, solus ad breaks and multiple video news releases across TV, extensive use of online video ads and specific movie targeting in cinemas).
We switched to a higher frequency of different ad executions across TV and online video. Media partnerships provided new and exclusive content for Lucozade, which was published through the Facebook profile allowing our now activists to get this to their peers ahead of anyone else.


Our success is measured by the high number of most valuable consumers we are regularly engaging with “YES” through our Facebook profile. Within 6 months we went from 0 – 33,000 members, which was also the highest number of an Irish Facebook profile page within the CSD category. The profile was also ranked within the top 30 of Irish profiles within this time period. While these standard industry measures demonstrated massive success, the deeper social media expression measures were even more impressive. The activity achieved an interaction rate five times the industry average and an unlike rate a third of the general marketplace.

For more examples of great media work, you can get in touch with me on 01 271 2139

Ciaran Cunningham – CEO

As always, if you have any opinions- supporting or conflicting- on this post or related matters we’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to post replies below.