O&M puts focus on humour in Observer push

Ogilvy & Mather’s first sustained brand campaign for the Observer will launch on 15 October as the newspaper aims to carve out a stronger brand identity following its redesign in May.

Ogilvy & Mather’s first sustained brand campaign for the Observer

will launch on 15 October as the newspaper aims to carve out a stronger

brand identity following its redesign in May.



The poster and press work is the first branding campaign for the Sunday

newspaper since September 1995. The advertising, which is bold and

bright, is designed to draw people’s attention to the lighter, more

humorous qualities of the newspaper.



Niall Murdoch, the marketing manager at the Observer, explained: ’This

is the first time we’ve focused on the key long-term strengths of the

newspaper.’



He added: ’There has been a greater confidence about the Observer of

late. No-one doubts we do serious journalism well, but in the past they

have probably doubted that it can give readers a lighter touch and

present features well.’



The ads, which were art directed by Sally Bargman and written by Nicola

Gill, feature an array of bright backgrounds and headlines which play on

words. There will be three executions in the October campaign drawing

attention to contributors - for example, the writer, Lynn Barber, and

the chef, Nigel Slater. The headline for the Barber execution reads:

’Doner kebabs. Tequila slammers. Being interviewed by Lynn Barber. You

know you’ll pay.’ Murdoch described the ads as providing ’background

noise.’



Executions will break in November and will run until next year in tandem

with promotional work. The campaign will start in London and the

South-east.



Starting on Friday, a tactical advertising campaign will break in the

press and on radio promoting mini-books which will be cover-mounted on

Life magazine.



Published by Bloomsbury, each book will contain a short story by

well-known authors, including Margaret Atwood, Patrick Suskind and

Candia McWilliam. The book promotion will be available to readers within

the M25.



The Observer sold an average 416,014 copies in August - usually a slow

month for newspapers - according to figures from the Audit Bureau of

Circulations.



Estimated sales figures for September show a 20 per cent increase on

this figure and a 7 per cent increase year on year to about 498,000

copies.



Ogilvy & Mather won the Observer’s pounds 2million creative account in

July following a pitch against Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, BMP DDB and

WCRS. The incumbent agency, St Luke’s, did not repitch.



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