WSJ builds on reader trust in decision-focussed campaign

Oct 06, 2021 at 02:49 am by admin

A new brand campaign for the Wall Street Journal has evolved from its strategies during the pandemic.

Campaigns marketing director Katie Fabry says the ‘news you could use’ focus which provided non-paywalled COVID-19 coverage and hosting live Q&A conversations on pressing questions helped the News Corp paper attract and convert new audiences which were overwhelmingly digital.

“This growth to more than 3.4 million members – 80 per cent of whom are digital – illuminated the key role that trust plays in reaching and connecting with new audiences,” she says.

The insight has driven the strategic development of WSJ’s new brand platform, ‘Trust your decisions’.

In an INMA Bottom-Line Marketing blog, Fabry says key questions were magnified with a “thought bubble” installation at Bryant Park that invited those returning to work in New York City to catch up with co-workers and chat about big decision moments over a free coffee.

“The strategic inception point for the campaign was looking at how we could maximise relevancy where the three Cs of communities, context, and content overlapped,” she says. “The goal was to develop a brand platform that could endure.

“‘Trust Your Decisions’ was uniquely ownable for WSJ, given each piece of the tagline has relevancy to our brand and audience.”

Trust symbolised the paper’s “sacred” position as America’s most trusted newspaper;

Your upholds WSJ Opinion’s principles of free markets, free people, and its belief in the agency of individuals to take ownership of their choices and their future; while

Decisions emphasises its commitment to being the definitive source of truth for decision-makers.

“Each element of the creative was thoughtfully selected in accordance with this strategic framework,” she says.

“The central colour palette is a nod to the colours within the Wall Street Journal print edition. Supplemental colours modernise the look and feel, and are a careful selection of opposing or spectrum colours that refer to our balanced reporting and neutrality of WSJ’s tone. This work has rolled out company-wide to unify our promotional efforts to readers, wherever they may see us.”

She says the anthem campaign video, ‘Decisions, Decisions’ brought to life a range of decisions that people are facing in their personal and professional lives.

“Using a side-by-side visual, we show different vignettes of multiple decision-making moments. These decisions, which are all based on coverage from the Wall Street Journal, were selected based on engagement data showing that these were key decisions members and prospective members were facing.

“Each decision was then specifically highlighted with short-form social clips.”

Decision-making was also core to the supporting campaign media strategy. Content marketing was elevated beyond social to out-of-home advertising and showcased articles that were answering audience questions in real-time such as, ‘How long does vaccine immunity last?’ and ‘Should I invest in cryptocurrency?’


Key questions were magnified with the “thought bubble” installation at Bryant Park, while QR codes drove people toward articles that had been made free to read while traveling.

“The goal of our media strategy was to drive reach with new audiences,” Fabry says. “Large-scale brand messaging was rolled out in OOH in high traffic areas of New York City such as Times Square and ‘wild postings’ across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

“Content marketing supplemented brand messaging across social and in OOH across Monihyan Train Hall and JFK Airport.”

The placements were captured strategically as travel numbers were ticking up, and with QR codes and, to round out the reach strategy, promotion of the video suite across YouTube and connected TV.

The second phase of the media strategy focussed on traffic, retargeting audiences who engaged with the reach campaign with open house messaging across social, newsletters, and acquisition campaigns.


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