Wall Street Journal's Interactive Journey Paves the Way for Advertising

Wall Street Journal's Interactive Journey Paves the Way for Advertising
April 03, 2007
The Wall Street Journal's "Every Journey Needs a Journal," opens the door to a new interactive experience, ripe for readers and marketers alike.
Creative Notes
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Campaign Details
Client: The Wall Street Journal Online
Creative Agency: McGarryBowen and T3
Publisher(s): Dow Jones & Company
Campaign Insight
The Wall Street Journal's new brand campaign entitled, "Every journey needs a Journal," creatively illustrates the life journeys of a diverse group of people who are icons in their fields -- whether in sports, entertainment, business or the arts -- and demonstrates how Journal stories are relevant to their lives.

This new creative represents the first Journal campaign in nearly a decade, and highlights the brand's diverse and unique content available in print and online.

The advertising agency McGarryBowen brought us the concept "Every journey needs a Journal" and we thought it was a wonderful way to portray how individuals have used the Journal to impact or influence their life journeys. It also enabled us to target a broad group of people, including a younger demographic who can relate to the celebrities as they show how the Journal has inspired and benefited them.

The online portion of the campaign was developed by T3, and original portraits were taken by the world-renowned photographer Platon. Creatively, photos are displayed alongside hand-drawn "life journeys" that incorporate articles from the Journal.

The campaign features print and online ads and a microsite (that showcases the celebrity campaigns, bios, related Journal articles and videos). The microsite also offers visitors interactive and viral tools such as the opportunity to send their favorite icon's Journey to a friend, add celebrity videos to their blog, and share their own journey by describing how the Journal has influenced them personally and professionally.
--Ann Marks, chief marketing officer, Dow Jones & Company
Editor's Note
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The Panel
Change -- however welcome or unwelcome -- is inevitable, and when The Wall Street Journal changed their print edition to focus almost exclusively on the opinions, color-commentary and back-stories behind the general "who-what-where-why-and-how" of news reporting, the change was met with varied response. This online campaign does a great job of showing how change, when combined with ingenuity, drive and the right knowledge, can lead down a long and winding road to success.

T3 did a great job with WSJ's campaign, laying out a site that focuses on the storytelling power of words, and then complimenting those words with video interviews and short biographies of each featured celebrity. The uncluttered design and creative illustrations associated with each celebrity's journey makes the whole experience easy to read and digest, which isn't the kind of experience I traditionally associate with the Wall Street Journal.

Finally, while the celebrity interviews and featured WSJ articles all say "this paper has something to offer you," the site's attention to the online medium literally walks-the-walk and offers the user the ability to send the videos to friends, log their own journey, spread the word and add the videos to their own blogs.
-- Bradley Werner, director of marketing, The Fifth Network

Since the introduction of the Weekend Journal, the Personal Journal, and the relaunch of the Weekend Edition, The Wall Street Journal has been trying to show its softer side to attract a broader array of readers. Their new ad campaign continues that shift, presenting the paper as more personal, and thus more accessible, to more people.

The online campaign stays very much in line with the print version of the campaign, featuring the setbacks and ultimately the success stories of celebrities and entrepreneurs. Users can download a PDF of the Journal's articles that featured each of these spokespeople, but the Flash intros to each of their stories give me enough information about their journeys. I can't see making a decision to subscribe to the WSJ based on an article that I downloaded from the ad.

The behind the scenes videos also fell a little flat for me. As with the bios, I thought that the videos detract from the impact of the hand-written, simple style of the campaign.

Despite my reservations, I'm actually a very big fan of this campaign. The videos are available for download or to embed on your blog or website, and they've included the "send to a friend" so you can pass the entire microsite along as well. But in this case, I think, less would have been more.
--Corey Kronengold, director of corporate communications, Tremor Media

Footnote: Submissions are judged by a panel of industry experts from and based on the following criteria: how the creative captures the specific customer; how it meets the brand's business needs; impact of execution; and creativity. If you would like your creative considered for Creative Showcase, send an email to creative@imediaconnection.com.