For decades the Sun has defined the tabloid agenda with its boobs, casual racism and negative points of view. At the same time, the Mirror had lost sight of what made it different and special, with readership lapsing as a consequence. At best, it was ‘not the Sun’ with no real reason to buy. Our challenge was to create a positive connecting that delivered genuine reader engagement.
That though a tabloid heart and soul, the Mirror avoids the usual reactionary, knee jerk approach of its red top counterparts. With its award winning journalism, the paper provides a deeper, more rounded point of view. It is the ‘intelligent tabloid’.
The intelligent tabloid? A contradiction in terms surely! This was the tension we needed to exploit, walking the knife edge between boring worthiness and unbelievable over claim. We did this by delivering challenges to current perceptions with an unpatronising sense of humour. Initially, this was a ‘show not tell’ demonstration which allowed people to come to their own conclusion about the Mirror’s intelligence via the ‘aha’ inducing optical illusions of #Madeuthink. More recently, and more competitively, by dramatizing the risks of reading a certain other tabloid in Don’t Say Stupid’.
In their 2014 annual report, the Mirror Group Chairman called #Madeuthink an “innovative brand campaign” and credited it with helping build a “momentum for financial growth” which saw the group increase its pre-tax profits by nearly £3m. More recently, Don’t Say Stupid has helped the Mirror to maintain paper sales in a declining sector, and achieve a no.1 position across all platforms.