The inaugural IAB Digital Upfronts will be held on October 4th in the Convention Centre in Dublin and many of Ireland’s leading online publishers will be showcasing and presenting their digital advertising innovations to brand advertisers and agencies.
As part of the build-up, Adworld.ie caught up with Cameron McDonnell, sales strategy director with Journal Media.
What is Journal Media?
We create news for reading on smartphones. Our mission statement is to be fast with breaking news, clear about the facts and concise with the information you need to know. And we go in-depth to deliver substance on the subjects that matter.
How long have you been around?
Journal Media was founded in 2010, when it disrupted the Irish media market. We are very proud that in six years we have built a news brand that challenges legacy publishers which have been operating for more than a century.
What makes Journal Media unique?
TheJournal.ie changed the Irish media landscape by putting the user first: by delivering news in a format shaped by audience needs, not legacy production cycles. This user-centred approach still drives our business today. We have created an engaged community unparalleled in Ireland, and we learn from this audience how to generate value for them and for our clients.
What are the key digital advertising product offerings from Journal Media?
Our key offerings on the commercial side are native advertising and digital innovation.
We lead the Irish market in native advertising, because we care about delivering our clients’ messages in a way that creates value for our users. We share data and insights across editorial and commercial teams to make sure our content hits the mark.
On the tech side, our app and web platforms are built in-house from the ground up, which gives us the capability to deliver digital innovations for clients – like personalised news, or a ‘night mode’ for the app – that create totally new experiences for our readers.
Which of these innovations are you most proud of?
The personalised newsfeed was exciting. Working with Carlsberg for a campaign on The42.ie, we created an opt-in personal feed for each user: allowing them to define their interests, and tailoring their app accordingly. Users can now switch between their ‘My Feed’ view and a chronological news view. This innovation was introduced with an in-app tutorial. It’s… probably the best sports feed in the world…
Another recent launch is that ahead of the Rio Olympics, we built push notification channels in our app – allowing users to subscribe to tailored home screen updates for a theme they want to follow. This feature now offers clients the opportunity to ‘own’ breaking notifications around a topic or event.
How do you measure the success of Journal Media campaigns?
To take one example, we carried out some research after a campaign around a special French wine offering in Lidl. The campaign objective was to drive awareness of a time-limited offer while positioning Lidl as a go-to destination for fine wine. We used native content to create talkability alongside targeted product showcases to highlight the wines on sale.
Research by Red C in the wake of the campaign revealed a 14-point increase in intent to purchase, as well as significantly higher brand consideration. The full results are online.
What are you working on at the moment?
We are currently partnering with KBC on a three-month in-depth journalism project chronicling the Change Generation: those people going through the key period of decision-making in an Irish adult’s life, from leaving the parental nest to setting up a home of one’s own.
This campaign allows us to deliver real value for readers while also creating an audience in key brand demographics for KBC: students, mortgages and improvement loans.
Using multimedia formats across several platforms, and delivered by our reporters, Change Generation engages with the challenges facing these demographics and supports better decisions through informative and entertaining journalism. Meanwhile, the brand benefits from alignment with content that understands and informs young people as they face the big life choices, financial and otherwise.