Inside Tourism Newfoundland’s big newspaper buy

Digital and social media added support during the four-month lead up to prime travel season.

NL 2020 print 6

The latest entry in the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism’s “Find Yourself” campaign relies heavily on what the brand is referring to as newspaper  “billboards” – single-focus, full-page, full-bleed ads on the outside back covers of travel sections in The Globe and Mail and other major dailies in key markets.

The robust newspaper buy may seem to be counter to the trend in the ad industry right now but Jef Combdon, director of communications and media planning at Target Marketing and Communications, says that it has been an effective channel for the tourism campaign as a way to reach older, affluent Canadian travellers. The full-service St. John’s agency that’s been the AOR on the business since 2005, executed both the creative and media buying on the campaign.

“When you’re trying to reach an affluent audience in Canada to travel to Newfoundland – just to give you an example, the weekend edition of The Globe and Mail has a readership of nearly 1.7 million people. Why would I ignore that opportunity to reach that 1.7 million people? It checks a lot of boxes in terms of who we want to attract to travel here. Creatively, it’s a beautiful format. There are very few media channels that give you a canvas like that.”

Combdon says the newspaper ads are the bridge between the brand and tactical parts of the campaign. The print ads feature beautiful vistas of the region, cleverly written copy and a breakdown of partner prices. While newspaper circulations have dropped over the years, he believes the decline has more to do with newspapers cleaning up their circulation lists and cutting back on distribution of unqualified free copies because of the increasing costs to print today.

The digital piece is a mix of premium partners and programmatic placement.

Combdon says, “That’s the wonderful thing about newspapers. You can’t or shouldn’t just look at their audience exclusively in print, accompany it with the digital offering of the paper as well. You create some intent within the main print channel and then you underpin that with a digital campaign to help guide that traveler down that pathway to purchase.”

The 2020 tourism campaign includes TV, 15 print executions, digital and social media.

NL 2020 print 4 NL 2020 print 3 NL 2020 print 2