Monday, October 24, 2011

Reading the Newspaper is Sexy. Really?

This week marks the launch of a new advertising campaign by the American Newspaper Association. The message: Reading a newspaper is Sexy.


According to an article in today's New York Times:

“Smart is the new sexy” reads the tagline for the campaign, which was created by the Martin Agency, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.
“Be able to find Iran on a map,” says one ad that shows an illustration of a woman reading a print newspaper at a table. “Know what the city council is up to behind closed doors,” it continues."
While I do think that understanding geography and being able to point out Iran and Egypt, Afghanistan, and Israel on a map is sexy, I'm not sure that there's a large enough target audience out there who agrees, especially with respect to newspapers. 
Even if the new ANA ad campaign is aimed at encouraging both print and digital readership, I'm not sure the message will resonate. Perhaps I'm just too cynical? At this point, I'm willing to settle and say that finding Maryland, New York, and California on a map borders on sexy these days as does just a hint of newsprint ink on Sunday morning fingertips.

True nobody wants to be this person:

“Who wants to go to a cocktail party and not know what’s going on in the world?” Mr. Hughes said. “You’ll be sexier if you’re current with what’s going on in the world.”

But are newspapers the best medium through which we can encourage news consumption as sexy?

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