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WSJ Thinks You Should 'Know'

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The Wall Street Journal today launches a multimedia branding campaign tied to the theme, "Live in the know."

The work, created by New York ad shop mcgarrybowen, is the paper's first major initiative since the "Every journey needs a Journal" push that ran three years ago. (Mcgarrybowen also crafted that earlier campaign.)

The new ads, which will run across broadcast and cable TV, print, online and out-of-home channels, aim to communicate the value of the information the WSJ provides in its daily coverage, stressing its ability to go beyond the headlines and sound bites of typical news outlets.

Ads play up the WSJ's drive to expand past business coverage into areas such as politics, world affairs and leisure pursuits -- and they show how the issues of the day impact individual lives.

One print execution, for example, is headlined, "Is your data showing?" Copy discusses the ongoing societal debate about privacy in the digital age. "Are your rights about to be deleted?" the ad asks. A video version will depict a couple assessing whether to post provocative "party pics" on their social network page.

"So much has happened in the last year and a half with the financial meltdown and its impact, and with media [in general], that we felt a need to create messages talking about why people need to be better informed to make better decisions" in both their personal and professional lives, said Jim Richardson, the client's vice president of brand marketing.

The campaign also introduces what Richardson described as a "manifesto" that WSJ readers live by: "What do I need to know today?"

"There are moments," reads the copy of one ad, "when you want to know, really know. And for that you need to go beneath the headlines. Beyond the chatter. That's where we live."

Topical ads addressing real estate values, the potentially disastrous impact of swine flu-type epidemics and weighing the pros and cons of the green auto movement will appear between now and May, said Richardson.

TV ads will run on NBC, CNN, Fox, FX, National Geographic, MSNBC, the Golf Channel and others. Print ads will appear in magazines owned by Conde Nast and Time Inc., and in the Harvard Business Review, among others.

Gordon Bowen, chief creative officer at mcgarrybowen, said, "The world presented us with a different set of challenges with the state of the economy, so it made sense to take a fresh look at where we were strategically and creatively." 

The new ads, said Bowen, convey the message that WSJ editors and writers "are true story tellers...The whole notion of 'Live in the know' is that information is powerful and the Wall Street Journal is the best place to gain information and knowledge on any subject to inform and inspire a better life."