Yesterday, Volkswagen began a print campaign in 13 newspapers across America. The purpose: To regain the trust of their customers following news of their emission issues. In the ad, CEO Michael Horn extends his apology and a special offer to those affected. Specifically, customers who qualify will be given a $500 prepaid Visa Card along with a $500 dealership card. This is the first official, public gesture that the company has made to address the consumer crisis and here at the Newspaper National Network we were honored to work with them in executing the initiative.
So why newspaper? With all of the options available to Volkswagen why did they choose this platform to make their first announcement? Because when a brand needs to get the word out in an effort to address a crisis head on, newspapers work!
1) Trust. Newspapers provide a trustworthy environment for ad messaging. Study after study reports that readers find all of the content that they consume in newspaper to be believable and above board. This includes the advertising. At a moment when you are trying to regain trust, placing messaging in an editorial environment known to be credible is imperative.
2) Relevance.This kind of messaging is newsworthy in its own right. People who consume news content are news omnivores. This is why 84% acknowledge reading both edit and ad content in newspapers.
3) Immediacy. 94% of daily newspaper audience cume on the same day. This allows marketers to strategically pinpoint the timing of their message and gauge response in the moment. Through research partnerships with companies like Coda Ventures/Triad Research, the Newspaper National Network can in turn provide advertisers research that measures ad recall, response and actions taken within 48 hours of a print ad’s run date. With this kind of timely data, marketers can adjust and recalibrate messaging accordingly in the moment.
4) Action. 79% of consumers take action on ads they see in newspaper. When you want to speak to a responsive audience, newspaper delivers a consumer group that takes what they read and acts upon it. Often this takes the form of grass roots message amplification. Markets that matter quickly become energized against corporate messaging through the most tried and true social network that exists -- local communities.
5) Geo Targeting. Newspaper is the original geo targeted marketing tool. Through partners like the Newspaper National Network, marketers like VW can pinpoint geographies that are most important and relevant to their messaging. This insures efficiencies and little waste -- essential in helping crisis management budgets (often limited and sourced from other important initiatives) stretch every dollar.
Together, all five key newspaper attributes provide an impact that centers on immediacy and results. The Newspaper National Network has a protocol in place that can be executed in the moment. When a crisis hits, that ability to get the word out with speed, flexibility and built in monitoring can make all of the difference in the final outcome of a corporate response. Newspaper uniquely helps make that work seamlessly.
The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage/MyersBizNet management or associated bloggers.