Newspaper Brands Online: Highlights of the online ANNAs

In the run-up to the 2009 Awards for National Newspaper Advertising, we showcase some of the digital work in contention for the prizes.

Advertisers have cottoned on to the strong proposition offered by national newspaper websites - all the engagement, reach, stature and credibility of the newspaper brands, coupled with the digital virtues of interactivity and video.

There are some great campaigns running on newspaper websites, and to reward the best and encourage even greater feats of creativity, the Newspaper Marketing Agency last year launched a new award, with £5,000 each to the creative and media teams involved.

The Online Award is part of the Awards for National Newspaper Advertising (the ANNAs) and celebrates the best ad or campaign in an online national newspaper.


The meeting between Arsenal and Manchester United in the Champions League was a big moment for Nike. Two Nike-sponsored clubs going head-to-head in the semi-final of the biggest club competition in the world was an opportunity not to be missed.

A major online campaign was planned to appear on the day of the second leg, across news and sports sites, helping to build the pre-match excitement.

AKQA created a video widget (based on an existing Nike film, "Ignite"), which had two main advantages over standard online video ads. It allowed users to view not only "Ignite" but also 11 other Nike films. It also meant that users could turn the campaign viral by grabbing and sharing the widget with their social network, blog or personal page. Nike continues to add new videos to the widget.

In the 24 hours that the widget was served as an ad, 58,741 people watched a total of 115,624 videos. The interaction rate was 1.41 per cent (the industry standard is around 0.25 per cent), rising to 3.85 per cent with Sun Online, demonstrating that users browsing the newspaper websites are extremely open to relevant advertising when placed in the appropriate editorial context.


In a tough time for the UK car market, Audi wanted to tell upmarket potential car buyers that the new Audi Q5 is streamlined, challenging perceptions of SUVs as "boxy" and inefficient. The car's advertising slogan is: "We've unboxed the box - the new streamlined Audi Q5."

Audi makes heavy use of the online version of the "quality" national newspaper titles for its brand campaigns, as they have a high level of reach and engagement with the core Audi buying audience and traditionally perform well for Audi campaigns.

Within the multimedia launch campaign, Audi wanted to run a technically difficult but very striking "page peel" format ad, in which a cartoon character appears to start from a corner of a web page and fold it over to reveal the ad. The company chose the Telegraph for its strong technical support.

The campaign in the Telegraph had three levels - a homepage takeover, the full-page peel ad and individual expandable formats. The campaign launched with a homepage takeover using interactive creative and running on a Tuesday - all homepage takeovers ran on Mondays and Tuesdays, the biggest-reaching news days.

Following the homepage takeover, Audi ran the first full-page ad on the Telegraph site, on news and sport, supported by individual display formats throughout the entirety of the campaign.

There was a 30 per cent increase in web visits and a 71 per cent increase in brochure requests during the campaign period.


The recent multimedia campaign to relaunch the Ask Jeeves brand in the UK made full use of the ability newspapers have to engage the reader. The Ask Jeeves proposition is all about questions and answers and its semantic search technology allows users to input a literal question (rather than keywords) to generate a useful and relevant answer.

Advertising was created that allowed for changes to be made by the editorial desk to the copy, applying a relevant question to the search bar that matched the editorial story on the page.

Being able to modify creative on the fly using copy as the central driver guaranteed freshness for each individual Ask Jeeves message. The thinking reached across both on- and offline Mirror platforms. The ability to make very late advertising copy changes that marry up to editorial contexts offers clients a new perspective on how they can engage with consumers. In this case, we were able to key in ad copy with editorial just before it went to press.

The Ask Jeeves client supplied the contextual questions while creative work was completed by Hanft Raboy and Partners, and MPG was responsible for media planning. In order for this activity to work, it required all parties working closely together with the Mirror team under pressing timeframes.