On the cutting edge

ADRIAN FERNANDES looks at five innovative campaigns that engaged audiences and delighted advertisers

At NewsMediaWorks, we’ve seen some amazing product innovations over the past 12 months that showcase news media’s ability to deliver engaged audiences to advertisers. We’ve selected five from around the world designed to attract new audiences and delivering outstanding returns for advertisers.


Treasures of the City

Brazilian newspaper Diário do Pará has been serving the city of Belém since 1982. Using its entertainment and food journalists, it produced the series, “Passport Belem, 100 Things to Do Here”. It highlighted 100 unique experiences in its city.

The goal was to engage more deeply with readers, especially the younger audience.

Content was created around the senses – sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. Each section offered 20 recommendations on things to see or do in the city.


Sales rocketed 35 per cent. The publisher tapped into this success by creating an app and a luxury guide that was sold on news-stands and in bookstores.

Advertisers took sponsorships for each insert and doubled the anticipated revenue. Sponsorships were so successful, the publisher had to extend their programme to deal with demand. 


Driving insurances results

AAMI - Driving insurance results

An interactive smartphone campaign produced by Fairfax Media delivered strong results for car insurer AAMI, according to an advertising effectiveness study by Millward Brown.

AAMI’s marketing objectives were two-fold:

  • To encourage customers to think about their car insurance before it’s due every year
  • To remind time-poor consumers that any small-medium car damage could be repaired in 24 hours with AAMI

To achieve these goals, a custom interactive smartphone execution was built by Fairfax Media’s in-house Digital Innovation Services team. The “Make a Minor Ding a Minor Thing” campaign ran across Fairfax’s national mobile homepages.

The ad allowed users to swipe and erase car damage, which quickly and easily demonstrated the simplicity of AAMI’s service repairs.

A post-campaign effectiveness study, conducted by company Millward Brown, showed the work had significantly improved association between the brand and message. Key results2:

  • Advertising recall twice as high as the control group3
  • Message recall five times higher than the control group3
  • The campaign outperformed Global Desktop Insurance benchmarks4 on advertising awareness, with recall for the AAMI campaign 73 per cent higher than global norms
  • A click through rate 49 times higher than mobile advertising industry benchmarks5


A pet project

Winnipeg Free Press were looking for something fun and engaging for readers. Around that time, their humour columnist, Doug Speirs, took his dog to the vet and was told she was morbidly obese and had to lose weight. Research by the editorial team showed there to be an obesity epidemic among pets in North America, and the Fit Pet Project was born.


The newspaper approached for sponsorship national pet shop Pet Valu, which offered $1,000 in gift certificates in exchange for branding the contest, a column and a weekly information box about how to join the fit-pet project.

Readers were invited to take part by submitting photos of their pets and a few details about their weight which we posted online.

More than 100 pets joined instantly and they continue to join, even though the competition ended long ago.


Making Mafia connections

Gangsters in Paradise – a five-part series The Desert Sun – informed readers about Mafia influence in the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs.

Black and white pull-outs containing tales of gangsters, corrupt cops and hard-core gamblers appeared in The Desert Sun newspaper while digital versions were produced for a microsite.


The series was popular on news-stands but the digital impact was greater. Its microsite achieved 225,590 page views over the short-run campaign, with healthy views of stories, images, videos and interactive galleries.

Section Page views
Stories 70,312
Galleries 55,187
Videos 4,049
Interactives and Topic Page 96,042
Total Page Views 225,590

Overall, the number of engaged minutes reach 206,426.

The series was wrapped with a sold-out event featuring expert speakers and feature writers discussing Mafia infiltration in Palm Springs.


APN make a break for Flight Centre8

Flight Centre approached the newspaper division of APN News & Media, seeking to achieve three objectives:

  • Grow market share in Queensland
  • Reposition Flight Centre consultants as travel experts; and
  • Attract customers to Flight Centre new Brisbane hyperstore

In response came the “Make a Break” campaign, running four weeks across the company’s print and digital platforms to attract readers to destinations selected on the basis of Flight Centre’s own customer segments.

Travel journalism in the papers also positioned Flight Centre consultants as travel experts and gave a local face to the brand. The online component matched travel deals to relevant content, creating buzz on social media and on the mobile platform.

A personalised, digitally-printed digital newspaper was developed for selected readers and home delivered. The message in each paper were potentially different but provided a strong local context to the campaign.

Flight centre 3

Flight Centre reported impressive post-campaign results:

  • Sales up 25 per cent
  • Transactions grew 40 per cent
  • 70 per cent ad recall
  • Brand consideration up 35 per cent


  1. http://www.inma.org/modules/campaignArchive/index.cfm?action=detail&zyear=2015&id=2F836F85-681A-4ACA-B19A7423C3AFDB2A
  2. Study methodology: A control / exposed methodology was utilised, with a survey launching upon exposure to the campaign. Control respondents were recruited prior to the campaign commencing. (Total sample; n=2,272. Control: n=2,016, Exposed: n=256)
  3. Millward Brown Ad Index Study, February 2016.
  4. Millward Brown Desktop Global Norms for all Insurance campaigns (n=147+ campaigns)
  5. Rich Media Gallery, display benchmarks
  6. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/The-Pet-Valu-Fit-Pet-Project-243521341.html
  7. http://www.desertsun.com/story/life/entertainment/2014/11/30/palm-springs-gangsters-in-paradise/19040507/
  8. http://apnarm.com.au/flight-centre-case-study/


Follow the links below to read other sections in The Works Q2 Quarterly Report:


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