A Journal for all ages

Paper's makeover is being touted across Viacom properties from CBS to VH1

The Wall Street Journal
unveiled its colorful but unflashy new makeover April 9 and will spend the next two months telling consumers about it by way of a cross-platform media blitz with Viacom properties, including CBS-TV, VH1, Westwood Radio Network and Viacom Outdoor properties.

The companies declined to say how much money will be spent, but sources said it is $10 million for an eight-week campaign that started the day the business daily's new look (said to be the Journal's first makeover in 60 years) and new section, Personal Journal, were unveiled.

On CBS, ads will appear in 60 Minutes, 60 Minutes II, Judging Amy, CSI
and several other more sophisticated urban dramas, said Lisa McCarthy, senior vice president, Viacom Plus. "They're trying to broaden the demographic of the Journal, and they were looking for smart programming. A combination of high-rated news and entertainment dramas was really perfect psychographically for who they're trying to reach." Also in the mix on CBS for the Journal
ads is Sunday Morning.
VH1 will run the ads on its Behind the Music, in late night and on the weekends. Like CBS, VH1 has a sizeable upscale 25-54 audience, the core audience for the Journal, whose average reader is about 50 years old. (Buying 60 Minutes,
though, the Journal
is buying network television's oldest audience; the median age is 58.9. The median age of CBS is also the oldest, at about 51.)

"We chose Viacom as a strategic partner for their ability to reach and surround our target consumer," said Fernando Arriola, group media director at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the Journal's ad agency. "We needed to bring it to the consumer's attention in the most powerful way possible."

On the Westwood One Radio Network, both CBS News' Charles Osgood and personality Don Imus will read live scripted ads plugging the Journal.

The outdoor campaign will blitz New York, San Francisco and Chicago. "Part of why we created Viacom Plus was to address how to reach the consumer in the home, then when driving to work, and once they're running around the city.," said McCarthy.

Viacom Plus has gotten off to a strong start this year, completing a half dozen or more cross-platform deals so far, including one with Snapple, and more are expected before the upfront market arrives. Last year, the company did a total of 13 deals.

But, McCarthy stresses, "the goal here is not a numbers game. The goal here is to do deals that strategically make sense."