Metro launches redesign

The free commuter daily steps up its game with a new look and editorial strategy.

Metro newspaper unveiled its new look in its Halifax, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver markets today.

The free commuter daily has done a major overhaul of its design, focused on telling stories with a more visual narrative and more heavily using charts, graphs, pictures, pull quotes and fact boxes.

‘We’re trying to create a number of different entry points for our readers,’ Bill McDonald, group publisher, Metro English Canada, tells MiC. ‘Some of the content changes we’ll make – that start now and will continue to roll out over the next two months – will encourage more sharing among friends, family and coworkers. So we’re meant to provide intriguing news bits of the day, as well as content you won’t get anywhere else. So that’s meant to increase readers per copy, and increase readership across the country.’

Metro will continue to focus on creative and new executions for advertisers and there are two new ad opportunities with the redesigned paper: right and left earlugs (also called skyboxes) on the front page, McDonald says.

The ‘new’ Metro will be divided into five sections: News, Scene (entertainment), Life, Sports and Drive on Wednesdays. There is a renewed focus on sports, he explains, as well as unique columns and ‘tidbits’ that are meant to spark conversation, such as a new relationship column about marriage.

The new look was soft-launched in Montreal earlier this year and is based on other redesigns that have taken place with the paper globally. Research from papers that had been redesigned with the above concepts in mind revealed that those papers benefitted from a significant boost in readership, McDonald says.

The redesign is being promoted with boxcards, in-paper ads and gateway posters in transit stations in Toronto. Additionally, the paper was handed out by ‘brand ambassadors’ in all six markets.

In addition to changes to the print edition, there are changes to the Metro website, which includes easier navigation, and the release of an iPad app, and special iPad edition, this summer. The paper has also announced a Blackberry mobile app, to complement its iPhone app.

Targeting a ‘young, active, metropolitan’ demographic, Metro‘s print editions reach 1.3 million readers daily.