Many media analysts say newspapers are dead or dying. To anyone who follows the media, those claims aren’t new. But now the Newspaper Association of America hopes to reverse the trend, by emphasizing that newspapers in all their online, mobile app and print incarnations make us smarter. And smart is sexy.
The New York Times’ Tanzina Vega recently wrote about the new advertising campaign: “â€œSmart is the new sexyâ€ reads the tagline for the campaign, which was created by the Martin Agency, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies. â€œBe able to find Iran on a map,â€ says one ad that shows an illustration of a woman reading a print newspaper at a table. â€œKnow what the city council is up to behind closed doors,â€ it continues. â€œThereâ€™s no question that newspapers are undergoing a significant transformation, and we wanted to underline some of that,â€ said Caroline Little, chief executive of the N.A.A. â€œItâ€™s a campaign for what newspapers represent, whether they are in print, online or mobile.â€
“What they represent, Ms. Little said, are the ideals of an informed citizenry and democracy. The campaign also comes at a time when newspaper newsrooms have faced devastating financial and staff cuts. A weak print advertising market and smaller profit on digital advertising have exacerbated the trend. Some newspapers, like The New York Times, are experimenting with pay models while others are finding alternative revenue streams through things like daily deal Web sites.”