The Sun has, with just a touch of audacity, stolen a march on its rivals and launched a World Cup 2014 marketing blast. Or should I say 22 million marketing blasts?
This cut-down version of what is still the UK’s most popular printed newspaper is a brazen mix of football related patriotism and hardnosed marketing. There’s no pussyfooting here. The advertising is big and bold, with whole pages dedicated to a single brand. This approach cannot fail to grab attention on a national scale. (When I say national I refer to England – just in case there are any Scots, Welsh or Northern Irish reading this.)
The Sun does have its detractors and they’ve already been climbing out of the social media woodwork. An example is the Facebook page “Here Comes The Sun” which is encouraging people to turn these free newspapers into works of art. A Twitter user has posted an image to encourage people to mail their copies back to publisher.
A quick search of social media finds almost incandescent complaints that Royal Mail has besmirched people’s homes with free copies of The Sun and even some threats of legal action.
Perhaps this is more to do with The Sun’s well known political leanings than anything else.
What this all adds up to is a cheeky marketing campaign that is grabbing the attention of the masses, unashamedly using patriotism to sell (hardly a new phenomenon) and helping to promote The Sun’s brand at the same time. Whilst its appeal might be limited in certain parts of Islington, and other bastions of the liberal elite, it is quite likely to attract the football loving masses of England.
Maybe the continuing success of The Sun is based on its understanding of its target market and giving it what it desires? Is that a lesson for other UK newspapers?