By: Lucia Moses
With muted touches of color, souped-up graphics, and a new personal finance section, The Wall Street Journal today unveiled historic changes aimed at drawing more women and younger readers and attracting more luxury advertising.
To support the changes, the Journal launched a new $21 million ad campaign by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners with the tagline, “Business. And the business of life,” to replace its “Adventures in Capitalism” campaign. Unlike previous campaigns, which tended to focus on six to eight metro markets, the new one will run nationally.
The Journal also updated the looks of its Asian and European editions to more closely resemble the U.S. version, and launched a companion global ad campaign which touts the newspaper as the “leader in global business news.”
The changes, the most dramatic to the 112-year-old paper in 60 years, were enabled by a three-year, $225 million color print capacity expansion. The newspaper features front-page color for the first time ever.
The Journal hopes that its new thrice-weekly section, “Personal Journal,” will help attract advertisers in such categories as health care, luxury goods, and consumer electronics, while decreasing its reliance on financial and technology advertising, which suffered badly last year.
A test of the changes’ success will come this fall. Peter R. Kann, publisher of the Journal and CEO of corporate parent Dow Jones & Co., said at a press conference today that he hopes by fall to see signs of improved circulation efficiency, as measured by response rate to marketing efforts and improved subscription renewal rates, and more color ad pages. The paper often ran four daily pages of color ads last year; by fall, Kann said he’s looking for color ad pages to average six per day.
In addition to operating in a still-tough ad climate, however, the Journal also will have to fight off The New York Times, which will be vying for the same kinds of advertisers with its new Friday “Escapes” section and expanded national availability of its weekday leisure sections.