Notes from the mediascape: Chicago Tribune hearts its city

Facing an increasingly competitive media market, the Chicago Tribune and Toronto's Juniper Park devise an extremely local media campaign to prove the paper's love for the Windy City.

In one of the most challenging media environments the newspaper industry has ever faced, the Chicago Tribune has launched an ultra-local campaign to show the city how much it cares.

With Toronto’s Juniper Park at the creative helm, the campaign focuses on the idea that the Chicago Tribune covers what matters most to Chicagoans and proudly trumpets the fact that it is a source of exclusive, city-focused, breaking stories. In a media campaign covering print, transit, OOH, TV, statement media and radio, the creative messages position the Tribune as a civic hero of sorts, with lines like: ‘Some guardians of cities go the cape and tights route. We prefer notepad and ballpoint.’

Juniper Park’s research indicated that it was not the brand that was in trouble with consumers, but the role of newspapers in the media environment itself. With so many media outlets reporting information daily, consumers are faced with more choices than ever. The best way to face the problem, it was decided, was to show consumers the Tribune can do Chicago like no other.

‘Without question, these are challenging times for our industry,’ Marc Giannettino, Tribune senior manager, brand marketing, told MiC. ‘However, this campaign is not intended to simply market the category of newspapers. Rather, it focuses on the core principles of the Chicago Tribune brand and the role our organization serves in this community.’

To hit the message home, the media plan bypassed the common newspaper preponderance to use its own space. ‘They took a blitz strategy to ensure the campaign made a lot of noise out of the gate,’ Juniper Park account director Dion Aralihalli told MiC. ‘They mixed their owned media properties with paid media for efficiency and impact.’

Media buys were planned and executed by the Tribune. ‘Our media mix was determined by taking a close look at the behavioural, attitudinal and media consumption attributes of our core target audience, coupled with placement opportunities that may hold contextual relevance to our message,’ Giannettino told MiC.