Media: Strategy of the Week - Telegraph targets undecided broadsheet readers

The campaign strategy is for a long-term, low-frequency drive, Claire Billings reports.

The national newspaper market is more of a battleground than ever with broadsheets going tabloid to bring in more readers and promoting these changes with increased advertising budgets.

Against this background, The Daily Telegraph's latest campaign aims to increase sales and shake off perceptions about the title's typical reader.

It follows last year's relaunch and subsequent "read a bestseller everyday" ad campaign, which aimed to reverse the title's circulation decline by appealing to a younger audience.

The new ads continue to emphasise the change of positioning of the paper since the relaunch, when it introduced new contributors such as Irvine Welsh and Anne Robinson.

The TV executions, developed by Clemmow Hornby Inge, all feature characters and situations that will appeal to a certain type of reader. One involves students in a lecture hall, where all the students are studying The Daily Telegraph instead of a book, another shows the England rugby player Matt Dawson, who is too engrossed in the paper to join his teammates on the field.

The ads target an audience who have been identified as broadsheet readers, but who are not loyal to one particular paper.

"Lapsed users and less frequent readers and those who read broadsheets but aren't fiercely loyal to one title have been identified," Richard Oliver, the broadcast director at Universal McCann, which booked the spots, says.

Tim Allnutt, a partner of Naked Inside, which developed the strategy, says: "The ads target readers of quality newspapers who are potentially predisposed to the Telegraph's positioning but it hasn't been brought to their attention yet in an appropriate way."

The TV ads have been placed around relevant TV shows such as Channel 4 News, Grand Designs, Nip/Tuck on Sky One and other sport, drama and documentary programming.

Media strategy shies away from short bursts and blanket coverage, which Allnutt refers to as "thunder-clap tactics", traditionally used by newspapers.

Instead it relies on a long-running approach in relevant, targeted areas.

The targeting of the ads aims to do away with the image of the typical Telegraph reader as a distinguished, grey-haired commuter in a pin-stripe suit, who might support the Countryside Alliance.

Outdoor space, booked by Posterscope, will be supported by other yet-to-be-unveiled outdoor activity and will continue in the vein of last year's relaunch campaign. It will be placed in areas in which the target audience live or work.

The publisher will also sponsor ITV's Formula One coverage, as well as supporting two exhibitions at Tate Britain this spring.

While the campaign has a clear strategy and the creative and media have been carefully targeted, reversing the fortunes of a title that has a declining circulation is going to be a tall order.

Uncertainty surrounds its ownership and staff morale is said to be low. This is compounded by aggressive tactics from two competitors, The Independent and The Times, which have both launched tabloid editions to help them increase their circulations.

The Daily Telegraph's circulation was down to 891,104 in January, from 930,023 a year ago (excluding bulk copies).

Media strategy works on a "less is more" ethos that aims for a high return by targeting only those who are likely to respond. It remains to be seen if the title can be helped without resorting to the tactics used by its rivals and launching a tabloid edition.

Client: Telegraph Group

Media: Television, outdoor, event sponsorship, Formula One sponsorship

Agencies: Clemmow Hornby Inge, Universal McCann, Naked Inside,


Media idea: Target younger broadsheet readers with long-running activity

rather than a quick burst


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