‘Chronicle’ Tugs at Heartstrings

By Steve Krajewski

DALLAS–Rives Carlberg of Houston has launched a comprehensive branding initiative for the Houston Chronicle that aims to forge an emotional connection between the newspaper and its readers.

The campaign, which includes television, print, outdoor and radio, introduces the themeline, ‘Touch the News That Touches You.’ The ads continue to use the tagline, ‘Houston’s leading information source.’ Billings were undisclosed.

Leading the effort are four 30-second television spots, airing on Houston networks, two independent channels and on Warner Cable.

Each TV spot illustrates how the paper is tied to personal moments in readers’ lives. In one, a young girl proudly displays a photograph from the paper for her classmates and explains that the picture shows her mother becoming a U.S. citizen.

Another ad shows an elderly woman in a hospital bed opening a newspaper clipping of her granddaughter. The photo shows the younger woman wearing her grandmother’s heirloom wedding dress.

Other executions focus on the newspaper’s classified listings and its interactive service.

Eight print ads take the same tack as the television commercials, featuring a clipping from the newspaper, along with a handwritten personal note. In one, a classified ad for a ‘ ’68 Ford Mustang. Red.’ is circled with a son’s note to his father: ‘Remember how we always talked about rebuilding that car? Happy Birthday! Hope you have lots of weekends open. I do.’

Print will initially run as full-page ads and in smaller versions in the Houston Chronicle. Three outdoor boards also went up last week. One features a reader contest photo of a father and his baby.

The advertising campaign will run initially through 1997 and may be extended, according to an agency representative.

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED