By Published on .

National newspapers will be making an unprecedented amount of noise this fall.

USA Today and The Wall Street Journal join The New York Times and the new U.S. edition of The Financial Times in competing for the attention of educated, affluent readers with new ad campaigns.

USA Today's $2.2 million campaign, being launched today, coincides with the paper's 15th anniversary. The print and outdoor advertising from Gotham, New York, is a deviation for the Gannett Co.-owned newspaper, which traditionally has focused the bulk of its marketing on trade ads targeting the media-buying community.


This is USA Today's first consumer ad campaign since 1984, said Melissa Snyder, VP-marketing.

The first of the TV spots will break in the New York market, then roll out over a six-week period to 15 other markets, including Atlanta, Washington, Denver and Minneapolis. Outdoor ads will run mainly at commuter sites. The tagline is "An economy of words, a wealth of information."

USA Today's readers "cross all gender and age demographics," said Gotham Chairman-CEO Stone Roberts. "It's much younger and much more affluent than people think."

"We're hoping to reach readers who read us a couple of times a week and try to get them to read us a couple of more times," Ms. Snyder said.

The Wall Street Journal is pitching its new campaign at advertisers it hopes will appeal to readers in the business community.

"We're looking to reach all levels of corporate decisionmakers, which we are defining very broadly, from the CEO down to an agency media planner," said Paul Atkinson, VP-advertising.

The new campaign from J. Walter Thompson USA will run in business publications and in The New York Times. Outdoor also will be used.

While the creative will be new, the campaign will continue to use the Journal's tagline of "The world's most important publication."


"It's a campaign that goes beyond the facts and figures of most media advertising to try to explain the unique chemistry that exists between the Journal and its readers," Mr. Atkinson said. "We're trying to communicate something about the intangibles-about why people read the Journal."

A variety of other newspapers targeting the business reader have also boosted their profiles with new advertising.

On Sept. 14, The New York Times launched the second phase of its print and TV "Expect the world" campaign from Bozell.

Earlier this month, The Financial Times launched a consumer-directed print and outdoor campaign from Doremus Advertising to promote its new U.S. edition (AA, Sept. 8).


The increased competition for a national audience of readers is one reason given for so many campaigns breaking simultaneously.

"The concept of a U.S. national newspaper has been proved, and I think all the national newspapers realize they should be out promoting themselves," said Stu Arnold, managing director-the Americas at The Financial Times.

But others say the timing is merely happenstance.

"The 15th of September has always been a big date around here at USA Today," Ms. Snyder said. "I wish I could say we timed the campaign because we knew others

Most Popular
In this article: