National Post getting in touch with its feminine side

Every section in this Saturday's special issue will report on Canadian women and the factors that affect them.

There will be something different about the Saturday, Sept. 15, issue of the National Post. Make that very different. For the first time ever, the daily will skew female in every one of its sections. Sports, for example, will focus on Canadian women athletes and some of the challenges and issues they face.

Prompted by the success of a similar initiative – the Post‘s special Man Issue this spring – advertiser interest in getting in on the action is high. But MiC has been told that some inventory is still open.

To spark interest in the special issue, CanWest MediaWorks launched an ambitious publicity and ad initiative yesterday. In partnership with Toronto-HQ’d shoe retailer Nine West Canada, 16,000 complimentary copies of the Post began to be handed out at three high-traffic corners in downtown Toronto. Street teams costumed to depict female professions such as doctor, nurse and CEO will continue the giveaways for the next three days.

An innovative feature of the street event is the attaching of cartoon-like thought bubbles to the heads of team members. To suggest the nature of the content in the Woman Issue, the bubbles attached to hawkers dressed as tennis pros, for example, ask: ‘Why doesn’t anyone take my sport seriously?’ For team members wearing business suits, it’s: ‘I may be CEO, but will I ever have kids?’

On Saturday, 4,000 copies of the Woman Issue will be distributed at key locations, such as women’s fitness clubs, across the Greater Toronto Area. Like the copies of the newspaper given out earlier, each one will bear a Post-It Note with a call to action to sign up for a three-month subscription, compliments of Nine West. In addition to sponsoring the sampling, Nine West has purchased a branded page in the A section of the Woman Issue.

Promotion elements also include elevator screens throughout the Captivate network; radio tags (pre-recorded and announcer-read) on CFRB, 680 NEWS, Q107, Classical 96.3, CHFI and AM740; digital billboards at the Ricoh Coliseum and two other Toronto locations; in-paper advertising in the National Post and other CanWest newspapers; POP items; and ads on and Media buys were done in-house at CanWest MediaWorks, as was the creative for both the promotion and the Woman Issue.

Why did the newspaper decide to put so many of its resources into the special issue? ‘We consistently look to develop unique offerings for our readers and advertisers,’ Mark Spencer, VP advertising for the National Post, tells MiC. ‘Readers are treated to a themed content package, while advertisers can benefit from the opportunity to target their messages.’