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September 10, 2007 / Toby Dayton

Freaky Aliens Want You To Read The Paper

naa-alien.jpgIt’s been written about before, but I was reminded again of how awful the NAA’s new ad campaign is after I saw the freaky NAA alien (pictured on the left) again today. The Newspaper Association of America began the multi-million dollar campaign earlier this year in a pathetic attempt to remind consumers how important, valuable, and modern it is to read the newspaper. After not seeing the bizarre, frightening martian for a few months, I thought they aborted the campaign due to the mocking they received from media pundits. Apparently not.

Last month, Dynamic Graphics wrote an article on effective use of characters in corporate branding and highlighted the key principals for success. The article points out that successful brand characters must be unique, appropriate, timeless, engaging, simple, and able to evoke emotion. The NAA alien certainly is unique and evokes plenty of emotion (fear, revulsion, and contempt being the top 3). But the character is completely inappropriate for the message newspapers should be conveying, is exceedingly complex, and evokes an era closer to 60 years ago than today. Do readers of newspapers need a backpack loaded with NASA equipment from the 1950’s to access the daily paper online? Do newspaper readers really wear speed skating uniforms? Will newspaper readers be mocked and ridiculed like this freak of nature? The whole campaign is laughable beyond belief and could be presented in business school marketing classes as a case study in exactly what not to do with a marketing campaign. With friends like the NAA, newspapers hardly need the web, Monster, CareerBuilder, Craigslist, or JobDig.

[tags]NAA, Newspaper Association of America, Daily Newspapers, Aliens, Martians, E.T., Branding, Brand Characters, Dynamic Graphics, Ridiculous Marketing Campaigns, Where Your Association Dues Are Being Spent, UFO, UFOs, SpaceMen, Freaks[/tags]

One Comment

  1. Gunnar / Sep 10 2007 3:47 pm

    Awesome. I would also add that the words “wait” and “tomorrow” do not exactly have that much currency in the information age. Why get all the news you want/need *now*, when you can “wait for tomorrow!”

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