The Vancouver Sun blows out 100 candles

The Postmedia newspaper is celebrating with a widespread campaign that even has spots placed on a Seattle-based TV station, taking advantage of its large Canadian viewership.

While the jury is still out on the death of print, the Vancouver Sun is taking a moment to celebrate a century of newsprint coverage with a multi-platform campaign that launches today and declares the publication to be “100 Years Strong.”

The “Times Change. Trusted News Doesn’t.” birthday campaign was created by its agency of record, The Goat Farm, with ads placed in print, online, on radio and on TV by Vancouver-based JW Media.

The creative gives a review of years gone by, with stories told via the publication’s archived photos, some of which are cleverly combined with taglines that compare the language of yesterday and today.

For instance, in a TV spot, a black and white photograph of a restaurant filled with men and women in conversation is shown with a voiceover reminiscing about a time when “chat rooms had food and front doors.” Another photograph shows protesters on the street with the narrator remembering a time when “the information super highway was a sidewalk.”

In other material, photographs show the type of news the publication has been covering for the past 100 years, and how it’s still being covered today. An image of a gaggle of girls screaming at a Beatles concert in Vancouver is shown with copy that reads “Covering blasphemous music since 1912.”

“The creative gives a wink to the past,” Patricia Wu, marketing manager, the Vancouver Sun, tells MiC. “It uses images that people can really relate to.”

Wu says that the TV spots will be aired on CTV, CBC and Global, as well as on Seattle public broadcaster KCTS 9, as she says that the channel has a strong audience of Vancouverites. According to the channel’s website, it gets up to 800,000 viewers from BC each week.

There will also be ads on Corus, Bell and Astral radio platforms as well as in-cinema across Vancouver. A retro-themed homepage takeover, with a birthday logo, will occupy on the weekend of its birthday (Feb. 11 to 12). A microsite was also created, which will feature photo galleries, historical stories, reader memories and daily vignettes looking back at special days in history.

To add to the birthday bonanza, the publication has also partnered with a local grassroots coffee shop, JJ Bean, to create a Vancouver Sun anniversary coffee bean. Wu says that the pub wanted to celebrate by honoring the tradition of reading a newspaper while drinking a cup of coffee.

Wu says that as the digital platform has grown over the past decade, so have the publication’s advertising efforts.

“We continually evolve our online and print products to ensure that we have what advertisers are looking for,” she says, making note of the paper’s Chinese language website that was created to provide a targeted audience for advertisers.