With the 18-34 customer base more interested in watching television, surfing the Net or going to movies, print media has had to work hard to win this precious, disposable-income demographic.
Grappling with this phenomenon, the local daily, The Indianapolis Star, decided to take an unflinching look at their presentation. The result was a change in their brand-identification - a change that has ignited a firestorm of similar shifts in other area publications. It all began with The Star"s new campaign, where the culminating tagline read: "See What Happens." Demographic research and focus group findings quickly discovered that "See What Happens" was not connecting with the targeted audience. ""See What Happens" just wasn"t cutting it," says Oleo Magnusen, head of the Department of Anal Marketing Numbers (DAMN), an independent contractor for The Star. "The golden demographic of 18-34 was not responding. The Star needed to make their message more compelling, more edgy." The result was their brand-new tagline: "See What Shit Happens." Unveiled just last week, the campaign, according to DAMN"s Magnusen, "is a complete success. Our numbers jumped an entire increment, almost overnight." This success was noted by area publications, and profound shifts are already in the works to pertain more directly to the younger audience. Among the shifts proposed are as follows: ï Indianapolis Business Journal will be changing their name to Indy Biz Buzz. ï Indianapolis Monthly will be changing their name to Indy Whenever, Dude. ï Indianapolis Woman will be changing their name to Indy Grrrrl. ï Newcomer to the market Indy Men"s Magazine will change their name to Indy Dude, Dude. ï The Recorder will change their name to An Electronic Device for Downloading MP3s. ï The Word will change their name to Word UP. ï This paper, NUVO, after profound deliberation, decided to rename itself PHATO. ï Finally, The Star"s Friday entertainment supplement will be changed from Weekend to Party On Weekend, Garth. DAMN"s Magnusen observes that "All these shifts represent proactive measures by local media to stave off demographic drain. It takes courage to alter your brand so profoundly. It will be fascinating to see what impact it has." Fascinating, indeed. The Department of Anal Marketing Numbers will be in a fine position to assess: Magnusen revealed that all the above-mentioned publications have hired her firm to calculate shifts in audience attention.