LOS ANGELES An intentionally provocative campaign for the L.A. Weekly newspaper breaks next week with outdoor from independent Ignited Minds, according to the agency.
The campaign uses images from Weekly artists and photographers or created for past front covers, such as guerrilla poster artist Shepard Fairey's controversial depiction of President George Bush as a vampire with fangs dripping blood. Copy accompanying the latter visual, which launches the push, is: "Follow religiously."
All other executions, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on a cell phone ("Monitor closely") and a punk rocker swallowing a microphone on stage ("Care deeply"), use what the agency calls the "blank blankly" verb-adverb construction that has penetrated the Weekly culture and has "come to internally rally the troops" at the paper, according to Mike Wolfsohn, creative director at the Marina del Rey, Calif., shop.
"The timing is interesting," said Wolfsohn. "The Weekly is facing some marketing challenges as they've been purchased and questioned on how that will affect their stance. It's a unique opportunity, not only to show that the paper will not be taking a more conservative stance, but to further reinforce that they will continue to be what they have always been."
Damian Fraticelli, senior copywriter, said the paper has historically done mostly issue-specific advertising produced internally. "The cool part from the get-go was that they'd never done a big, full branding campaign. So we're keeping it clean and letting the brand speak for itself. We lit a fire for them to take a stance," he said.
Fraticelli said the newspaper wants to be part of "the L.A. cultural dialogue." He added that its building has been marked with "a literal, physical manifestation of the campaign" and adopted the verb-adverb shorthand in internal communications as well. "It could become iconic and associated with the paper," Fraticelli said.
Wolfsohn said the campaign would include less politically charged images as well, like an ad for the upcoming restaurant issue picturing a rack of meat on a spit and "Lunch fabulously."
Ignited Minds said the Weekly, typically uses trades outs for its advertising.
This report updates a previous post with a correction of the client's media spending.