Nov 11, 2008

How do I change the channel on this newspaper?

Tribune Co's in-house brainstormer, Lee Abrams, who will be in L.A. Thursday to tell us about the future, wants to capitalize on the interest people have shown in the election of Barack Obama by doing some smart product placement - with the papers being the product placed in the context of the drama leading up to Inauguration Day.

Here's part of his latest memo (via the Daily Pulp):
Historically, TV kills newspapers in NOTICABILITY because it's while its BETTER CONTENT in print, it's usually not packaged very well and doesn't get the traction it deserves. A little of what CNN and FOX do ala "Historic Election 2008" with big logo, intro music and always at a reliable time are components we can all do better...or hopefully BEST ... or we'll be handing it over to other media...and that would be tragic.
As the Daily Pulp notes, Abrams has several ideas on how to memorialize the election, from features (African-American pioneers) to widgets (countdown to the presidency):
Can we let this simply glide past us? Is there an angle here to maximize the Obama historical fix that seems so hot by:

Marketing Three Month subscriptions with the hook being something along the lines: "Experience the march to inauguration".

Using this hot button to aggressively extend the post election day historical value of what we provide

Treat the next three months as a historical/collectible opportunity that papers provide best.

Instead of a ton of papers being sold this week and Inauguration day, build his election into a marketable newspaper event....where there's something new in the paper EVERY day surrounding his historic election?

If "everyone" wants last Wednesday's paper...why not the next three fully capture the history being made? This is our great strength...and a good time to pull out the competitive stops.
Think about it.


Anonymous said...

Okaaaaaaay. And with what staff is he going to execute his brilliant idea? (It's NOT a bad one, really.) Is Tribune going to put together teams of reporters, editors, CEs, researchers, photogs, designers, etc to dedicate to that project?

No? Maybe he should have thought of about how the work was going to get done for his brilliant idea before the company whacked 500+ staffers.

'Course, there's plenty of out-of-work journalists that could make his idea a reality.

Anonymous said...

Pick a cause, tell reporters to get with the program. Reward the cheerleaders. When the marketing scheme fails, blame the cheerleaders. ID another brainstormer. Rinse and repeat.

Stephen said...

What Lee misses though is why all those papers were sold - people wanted something to save. If Tribune had published posters instead of newspapers last Wednesday and tripled the price they would have sold just as many if not more. Those same people got their election info from the internet and tv.

The first anonymous comment raises a good point. Of course, if a good product hits the streets I'm sure it'll sell a few extra copies...

Anonymous said...

lee may be a smart fellow,yet,he is a moron.

the advertisers don't want to buy thee special sections. advertisers want a good audience that fits the demos they are looking for.

tribune has an advertisig problem.

Anonymous said...

Abrams' stream-of-consciousness messages remind me a lot of Dewey Cox parodying Dylan in "Walk Hard".