Thursday, February 01, 2007

BAM! The new ad campaign for The Wall Street Journal - so good it feels like it was made in Europe

Now and then the mammoth you're working for does something that shakes you up, forces you to take position, at work, in life, or plainly surprises you. Today was one of these days for me. I saw the ad-campaign for the renewed US version of The Wall Street Journal. It is the first 'big' brand advertising campaign in 10 years. Understandably it will only run in the US. It has a European touch though (because it is so smart :-)
I know it is not 'cool' these days to admit you actually admire the multinational you're working for for something that was decided and executed at the other side of the world. But I can't help myself in this case. The way the Journal is portrayed is very appealing.

Gordon Crovitz, one of the executive VP's of DowJones, said the following about the campaign:

"The tagline for this campaign is "Every journey needs a Journal." The advertisements feature a diverse group of successful men and women, all icons leading their fields. Each includes a "life journal" that incorporates a Journal article to show how the Journal makes a difference in the lives of readers.

This campaign promotes the Journal however, whenever and wherever people want it-in print, online, mobile and other channels. .....

Some of the featured readers are CEOs inspired by what they read. JetBlue founder David Neeleman, for example, recalled as a college student in 1979 reading a page-one Journal article on airline deregulation. "When I read this article, I started thinking, how would this change air travel and could we create something that could really appeal to the masses as opposed to the elite few?"
Singer-songwriter and producer Sheryl Crow says the Journal has long been part of her life. "My grandmother was a newspaper editor, which was very unusual for women at that time, and she was very, very strict about what she read," Ms. Crow told us. "The Journal was always around our house. For me, growing up, that was the serious newspaper. Now, watching how reporting has taken a turn toward the tabloid, I appreciate the Journal because it is fair journalism you can count on." She chose to highlight a Journal article on breast cancer.

Other featured readers include Tiki Barber, former New York Giants running back; Jake Burton, founder and chairman of Burton Snowboards; Kenneth Cole of Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.; Oscar De La Hoya, Olympic Gold Medal boxer and head of Golden Boy Promotions; Steven Levitt, University of Chicago professor and co-author of "Freakonomics;" Maya Lin, architect and designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.; Paul Teutel Sr. of the reality TV series "American Chopper;" and Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse restaurant and healthy foods advocate.

These featured readers did not seek payment for their endorsements. Instead, the Journal is contributing advertising space to their favorite charities. Giving back is part of the journey of success for Journal readers.

Brand experts say the Journal is very unusual, perhaps unique, in what marketers call its "brand equities". Journal readers and non-readers alike give the Journal very high marks for integrity, authority accuracy and fairness. The Journal's reputation in these areas is, of course, our most important asset, earned by the work of generations of Journal reporters, writers and editors.

Our challenge, however, is that non-readers who have educational levels, careers and incomes that suggest they would benefit from reading the Journal differ from our readers in one key respect: Too often, they say the Journal "isn't for people like me." It's this perception among non-readers we'd most like to correct.

The campaigns web site at includes all the print and online advertisements. It includes video interviews with the featured celebrities explaining their ties to the Journal. There are also interactive features, including the ability for readers to post their own life's journeys and the role the Journal plays. "