CP bows first branding campaign

The nonagenarian news agency figures it's about time to spotlight its role.

The Canadian Press has been reporting the news for 90 years. What the agency that provides stories to the media hasn’t done is toot its own horn.

Late last week, that changed. CP launched a branding campaign with two goals. One is to educate Canadians about where much of the daily news they consume actually originates. The other is aimed at its own clients, with the idea being to reinforce the perception of CP’s value as a credible, unbiased, not-for-profit news agency.

Deploying creative by Vancouver’s Rethink Communications, the campaign will continue for 12 months. It includes newspaper, television and online ads, all encouraging news consumers to ‘get more of the story.’ Also, each client’s website now features the phrase: ‘backed by Canada’s trusted online news leader.’

With planning by Toronto’s Genesis Media, ads – mostly contra – are appearing in and on CTVglobemedia, TheStar.com, Sun Media and Transcontinental publications, plus Sympatico/MSN, AOL Canada and Sasktel. In late November, CP’s spots will begin appearing on NewsNet and the Business News Network and continue until Feb. 18.

To remind clients of CP’s online prowess, another element of the campaign is placing stacks of replica newspapers at trade shows and other media-oriented events. The twist is that in place of a front-page photo on the top paper, there’s an embedded monitor of a DVD player showing a video version of a top story.

In addition to advertising, Rethink redesigned CP’s logo in English and French and created a new look and feel for everything from stationery, brochures and trade show materials to video credits and newsroom décor. As part of this process, the ‘CP’ symbol (‘PC’ in French) is being replaced in all bylines and photo captions with ‘The Canadian Press’ (‘La Presse Canadienne’).