McCann Develops Print Campaign Promoting Seattle Times’ Web Site

Readers of the Seattle Times are invited to visit its Web site in a new print campaign from McCann-Erickson’s Seattle office.
Each of the eight ads resembles a print news story–complete with headline, subhead and byline–and touts the Web site as a valuable extension of the hard-copy newspaper. The efforts, running as house ads in the Times itself, are designed to be conversational and make the Web site approachable to readers who may not have considered visiting it. The effort will be extended to include outdoor and radio ads.
“We wanted to avoid the trap that, just because this is a Web site, the advertising should be ‘rad,'” said Ed Cotton, the agency’s director of account planning. “The ads talk to the target, the newspaper reader, by humorously demonstrating the value that visiting can bring them.”
The campaign does not promote the site as a replacement for the newspaper, but as a way to get additional information on specific topics, Cotton added.
One ad suggests the site’s Health Pages offer “medical advice, right from the comfort of your germ-covered keyboard.” It explains that this section of the site contains articles and other resources to help visitors with their medical questions.
“All of the tools of a TV weatherman at your fingertips,” reads the headline on an ad promoting the site’s expanded weather coverage. “Except that fancy wand thing.”
Other ads support the site’s “Datebook” entertainment section. One tells readers that Datebook online offers access to theaters, plays, concerts and over 2,000 restaurants. “So this is what all the people with social lives have been doing,” a headline on one of the ads reads.
“These ads communicate a message about the site’s functionality as well as clearly and cleverly demonstrating its added benefits to newspaper readers,” said Jennifer Tweed, new media marketing manager for the Times.
The campaign for the newspaper’s Web site is the agency’s first since winning the estimated $2 million account earlier this year.
Agency managing/creative director Jim Walker served as creative director. Kristen Hladeck was the art director. Jennie Meyer was the copywriter.