Wednesday, 27 May 2015

LA Galaxy Welcome Steven Gerrard to the States with Liverpool Echo Press Ad

Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy are set to welcome former England and Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard to the States this summer, and have thanked his former employers for the impending arrival by taking out a full-page advert in Tuesday's edition of the Liverpool Echo. 

Press Advertising Liverpool Gerrard LA Galaxy

The advert, which also marked the tenth anniversary of the Merseyside club's dramatic UEFA Champions League victory over AC Milan in Istanbul, reads:

"Ten years ago today, on one night in Istanbul, a leader became a legend. For the last 17 years, Liverpool has backed its loyal captain. To a club that has set the example, from a city honored to carry that legacy, thank you.

After making his first-team debut for his hometown club in 1998, Gerrard has gone on to make over 500 apperances for Liverpool and has won almost every domestic trophy available, with only the Premier League title eluding him. He is now swapping Merseyside for sunny California after signing for LA Galaxy on an 18-month deal.

With circulation figures of over 60,000 readers, the full-page press advertisement will have provided a welcome tonic for people on the red half of Liverpool after Steven Gerrard's final game for the club ended in a humiliating 6-1 defeat to Stoke City on the final day of the Premier League season.

Want to physically put your message in the hands of thousands of readers? Press advertising is still a great way to reach a large and varied audience, so don't hesitate to get in touch with Press Mag Media to discuss your print ad enquiry today! 

Friday, 22 May 2015

Read All About It! Harper Collins Goes Back In Time with New Marketing Push

World-famous publishing company, Harper Collins, turned the clock back with its latest marketing campaign, by handing out the first chapters of a new novel on the streets of London in the form of an old-school newspaper.

10,000 newspaper mock-ups were printed featuring extracts from the latest instalment of the Poirot novels, 'The Monogram Murders,' which were then being distributed around the capital. The unusual ad campaign looked to generate buzz around the launch of the new novel, which is a continuation of Agatha Christie's classic character by Sophie Hannah.

Poirot PR Newspaper Stunt

The campaign was developed by Harper Collins and creative agency Ralph. Chris Stack, creative director at Ralph, said: 

"We really liked the idea of using sample chapters as a way to get people hooked on the gripping detective novel - and grabbing a few newspaper is pretty much a reflex action for London commuters."

The limited edition newspaper was distributed from Oxford Street, King's Cross, Euston, London Bridge and Liverpool Street on Thursday by traditional 'newspaper boys' who were painted in grayscale makeup in a bid to emulate the 1920's-style newspaper. As well as extracts from the murder mystery novel, the paper also featured original advertisements from Poriot's era - sourced from the archives of brands such as John Lewis.

Stack continued: 
"1929 was all about newsprint, the year before radio news really took off, so producing a free newspaper was the perfect creative solution to keep all our activity in the Poirot world."

Friday, 15 May 2015

Has Hollywood Harmed Print's Famous Heroes?

For some it's a guilty pleasure, for others being a fan is something to shout about from the rooftops (or project into the sky from a large, bat-shaped signal.) 

For years, comic books and superheroes have played a major role in our culture, influencing film, television, art and even fashion - if you're a big fan of spandex, anyway.

As the latest Marvel blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron dominates the big screen and rakes in millions in box office takings, superheroes are once again in the limelight. The comic book-inspired film industry has become big business, with several instalments from the likes of DC and Marvel released each year starring some of Hollywood's most famous A-listers. That's not to mention television shows such as Flash, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Gotham which are currently recording high viewing figures.

Avengers Ultron Movie Comics - Marvel

But what do all these adaptations mean for the original, print-based comic book publications? For years they've had a die-hard following of committed fans, but do the recent moves to the big screen mean that they're a dying art form?

Although you might expect this to be the case, it wouldn't appear to be so. US company Diamond - who is responsible for the distribution of major comic books around the globe - released figures earlier in the year which showed that overall comic book sales have increased by over 14% during the last two years, suggesting that there is a beneficial effect from the mainstream media domination of Marvel and DC characters.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel's incredibly successful 2014 movie and another instalment from its ever-growing cinematic universe, even resulted in one of its main characters, Rocket Raccoon, getting his first ever solo comic book outing - showing that the comic-film relationship isn't necessarily always a one-way deal.

Avengers Marvel Comic Book

Marvel and DC, the latter responsible for houeshold names such as Batman and Superman, dominated the top 100 best-selling titles of last year, with Marvel's high-profile relaunch of The Amazing Spider-Man shifting the most copies by a considerable distance. It could even be argued that the comic performed better than the sequel to the film of the same name, which was largely panned by critics.

Although the days of queuing up outside a newsagent to pick up the latest issue of your favourite caped crusader may be long gone for most, these figures show that comic books still have a role to play in the print industry. Above all, those in Hollywood certainly haven't killed comic books, using their power and big budgets to help print sales pick back up. After all - with great power, comes great responsibility...

Friday, 8 May 2015

The 2015 General Election and the Role of the UK Press

This morning's newspapers delivered news across Britain of an imminent election victory for The Conservative Party, with reactions across a number of publications expressing a range of emotions - including shock, disappointment and elation. 

The 2015 general election has dominated the UK newspaper industry in recent weeks in the build up to yesterday's polling day. Friday's newspaper headlines are the latest in a long line of examples of British publications being unafraid to demonstrate their political allegiances to readers across the nation. 

Former press spokesman for Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, recently called newspaper coverage of this year's general election as "beyond parody," also criticising broadcasters for following the unquestionably biased agendas of print publications. 

Over the past few days we've seen The Sun do its utmost to keep The Labour Party out of government, with the now infamous image of Ed Miliband struggling with a bacon sandwich and the headline "save our bacon" splashed on the tabloid's front page on Wednesday. The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, used a close-up shot of David Cameron alongside the damning headline of "major fail," following damning comments from former Tory Prime Minister John Major on Cameron's existing time in government.

Newspapers have not held back from making their political views known
Bias in the UK press has been a longstanding feature of British politics, and on the one hand it's arguably encouraging that publications in this country still have the freedom to put forward their political beliefs without fear - something that cannot be said for many of the world's countries, where censorship of political views is often commonplace.

On the other hand, many feel that it isn't the place of the newspaper industry to attempt to sway the public's vote. The divide between supplying people with news and expressing an agenda has perhaps been more blurred than ever during this year's election - so much so that even the BBC has been heavily criticised for showing signs of political bias on programmes such as Question Time in the build up to the election.

Many newspapers went to great lengths to encourage readers to vote a certain way
Alastair Campbell said: "My complaint about newspapers has never been that they are biased, I was a very biased journalist on the Daily Mirror. My complaint has often been to the broadcasters to allow that bias to impact them."

While social media has been considered to play a key role in this year's election campaigns thanks to the likes of Russell Brand, the '#Milifandom' and more, the continued importance of the country's press cannot be underestimated: regardless where you stand on the debate, it's undeniable that the newspaper industry still plays a major role in politics in the United Kingdom.


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Mirror to Digitally Re-Publish Historical Print Copies

The Daily Mirror is marking the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe day over the next ten days by digitally re-publishing its print issues from 1945. From today (28 April) to the date of the anniversary on 8 May, the original, full print versions of the papers will be made available alongside the current issue's e-edition.

The Mirror became the biggest-selling daily newspaper of the late 1940's, published every single day throughout the duration of the Second World War, with between and 3 and 4 million copies sold daily during the conflict. 

The Daily Mirror is making its 1945 issues available digitally

Weekday editor of The Mirror, Peter Willis, said: "The Mirror has been at the heart of breaking news in the UK for over 100 years. These editions would have been pored over as readers sought to learn every detail of the Allies' progress."

He added: "It's fascinating to see the style in which these historical moments were communicated to readers and how the paper has changed in the 70 years since."

Today's edition of the paper delivered the news that US troops had joined forces with Russia's Red Army, and also features London cinema listings from the time, as well as rationing announcements.

Each of the 1945 editions will be available to be read in full in the paper's e-edition archive for a month after publication, while The Mirror's iPad edition is free to read in full from Monday to Friday. 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

BBC Strikes Content-Sharing Deal with Local Press

After a successful trial period, a new content-sharing scheme between the BBC and a number of local newspapers is set to be carried out across England. Publications will be able to share content from their own websites with the BBC, who will display links to the stories on its corresponding 'Local Live' news feed.

Image: Holdthefrontpage
The scheme has been trialled recently in parts of Yorkshire and the North East, but has received the green-light to eventually become a national standard. The sharing system will spread to Birmingham initially and is expected to be rolled-out across the full country by the middle of 2016. Newspapers are able to choose which stories it shares on the BBC's Local Live web feeds, which update readers on the latest news in their region throughout the day.

The BBC has claimed that, at the moment, stories curated from external sites in the North East and Yorkshire account for up to a quarter of the content on its live news feed. It hopes that by growing the service to a national scale it will benefit both audiences and the local press.

Controller of BBC English Regions, David Holdsworth, said: "Now a wider choice of material will be available across England from not only inside, but outside the BBC, with the best external stories selected by the papers themselves.

"Local newspapers serve audiences across England and publish thousands more stories than the BBC every week. It is natural and healthy that journalists want to compete for stories, but this is an example of a way the BBC can also contribute to a thriving local news market."

Thursday, 16 April 2015

What Do New Guidelines Mean for Native Advertising?

In recent years, we've seen more and more websites, magazines and newspapers become willing to create bespoke or sponsored content for advertisers. This 'native advertising' is a way for ads to be integrated within the content of an online or physical page - it blends both the editorial and the advert into a coherent entity, in order to make campaigns as relevant and effective as possible. Native advertising has become an important feature of the press industry, and is regularly employed by several publishers both in the UK and the rest of the world.

Time Out Magazine London Cover Wrap Native Advertising
Time Out London is one of many magazines to have employed cover wrap advertising
However, it's a complicated area, and publishers are told that they must not seek to trick readers into thinking the ad content or marketing message is part of the editorial. Across the Atlantic in the United States, The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) had previously established its own strict, rigid guidelines to discourage publishers from deceiving their readers with native advertising. 

But the lines of what you can and can't do when it comes to native advertising have become considerably more blurred in the US recently, with ASME updating their guidelines in order to reflect a changing print advertising landscape. Previously describing native advertising as a 'conflict of interests' that should be generally avoided, there now appears to be a bit more leniency for publishers. 

Cover wrap advertising, for instance, was previously frowned upon by ASME - "Don't print ads on covers. The cover is the editor and publisher's brand statement. Advertisements should not be printed directly on the cover or spine" - however, there's no mention of it in the updated guidelines.

The decision to update the rules is essentially the result of big name publishers - Time Inc., for instance - continuously ignoring the formerly strict guidelines. Although ASME still states that editors should not permit advertiser influence to compromise editorial integrity, it would appear that the door for more well-hidden native advertising campaigns could be about to open.