Colby Effler Revamping Register’s Image, Focus

Colby Effler & Partners recently broke a campaign for The Orange County Register that trumpets the Southern California newspaper’s new format and layout changes.

“It was time to revamp how we address topics that are important to people,” said Kevin Olsen, director of business development at the Register. “Our emphasis was to rethink the newspaper so we [appear] more modern.”

The objective of the TV and radio campaign is to “introduce the [new] product Register subscribers wanted,” said Joan Goldfeder, svp at Colby Effler, Santa Monica, Calif. “We tried to grab people with intriguing spots” that focus on the changes in the Nation and World sections, she said. Spending was not disclosed.

The five TV spots are similar in format. Each begins with a picture from a different section of the Register before a hyper-zoom effect brings the reader to one tiny dot on the photo. As the camera pulls back, the same dot is part of the new indexed layout.

Each ad ends with the tagline, “How long can you wait to find out?” The hope is to personify the format change visually through the commercials, said Goldfeder.

“The idea is unique and will hopefully stop someone from flipping channels,” Olsen said of the spots, which will run through June.

The campaign comes at a time when many newspapers are being hammered by falling readership and a fluctuating economy. Classified advertising has fallen considerably, so the Register took an aggressive stance. Olsen said the uncertainty “made us look at every aspect of our business. In spite of the downturn, it’s a great time to invest in boosting the circulation of the paper.”

Olsen stressed the problems dogging the newspaper industry as a whole have not hobbled the Register. “We’re here for the long run,” he said.