Newspaper Publishing will relaunch The Independent on Monday with a tabloid second section, redesigned masthead and the first completely new campaign from the recently created M&C Saatchi agency.
Agencies have welcomed the redesign saying it makes the newspaper a more accessible read and provides extra reader benefits.
The new front page will drop the definite article in a new bigger masthead and carry a large menu of that day’s contents at the bottom of the page.
The tabloid section two will carry daily themed coverage such as a media and computing and a seven-day TV and listings guide on Fridays.
“The paper has been changing and we wanted strong visible changes and improvements to illustrate that,” says editor Ian Hargreaves. “The paper had lost its edge and become dull, but it’s now the liveliest paper in town and we want to establish that view with a wider public.”
Hargreaves will not be drawn on specific targets, though he says: “We have to get the right side of 300,000”. The title sold about 296,000 in the May ABCs.
Marketing director Amanda Platell says the company is targeting readers of The Times and those who float about the broadsheet market.
“There are many younger readers with no true newspaper loyalties,” she says. Competitions and promotions will be an important part of the strategy to generate sampling and loyalty on different days.
M&C Saatchi’s 1.2m TV, radio and poster campaign will promote the Saturday package with the tag line “More Independent on Saturday”. It is understood that work for the weekday editions is planned for later this year.
“They’ve made yet another major step in the right direction,” says O&M Media media director Bill Kinlay .
“The package is better than ever before, but the question is how they encourage sampling and tell people it has changed. For newspapers, 1m is a drop in the ocean on TV,” he adds.