The Denver Post is asking YouTube surfers to view its new TV ad. You “need to be informed,” the ad says, and adds that reading the Post will get you all full of important information. What information? Everything you need to know about the Broncos, the Rockies and Denver entertainment, of course! The ad doesn’t say that after studying all of that good information, you may still believe that the president is a socialist and that the worldwide swine-flu aporkalypse is going to kill you along with everyone else! The ad also wants you to know that there are lots of coupons in the Sunday edition!
I saw this ad on YouTube. I watched it after reading that newspaper ad sales nose-dived this past financial quarter, dipping 29 percent, all-but confirming the impression that the physical-product daily newspaper as we know it is doomed, really doomed, that it will likely cease to exist in its present form very soon.
So I called the Post to ask about the ad. Who created it? Is it an in-house job or was there an ad agency called in to ramp up the effort? How long did it take to decide on the pitch and bring it online? What data is the pitch based upon, if any? Do Post readers now skim or skip the front page pretty much altogether? Why not put the Broncos and the Rockies and the coupons on the front page? Seriously.
Deirdre Zube, Interactive Advertising Operations Manager at the Post, had no idea what I was talking about.
“I’m sorry, is this a print ad you’re talking about?”
“No. I just watched it online. On YouTube. It’s a video, an online and TV ad for your newspaper.”
“Oh geez.” (laughs) “I will find out all about it and get the right person in marketing to call you back.”
And I will report on what that person has to say as soon as they do call back, if they do call back. Meantime, the latest pitch for our Colorado paper of record: