Sun plans brand extension drive

The Sun is to launch its first brand advertising campaign in preparation for extending the country’s biggest daily newspaper title into other products and services.

“The Sun will get involved in relevant, appropriate brand extensions primarily to further the brand, but they will be successful businesses in their own right,” says News Group Newspapers marketing director Ellis Watson. “It will not stop sales promotion or go down the Virgin route of putting its name on everything.”

The campaign, which launches in March, will use the strapline “Dedicated to the people of Britain” which was first discreetly used under the newspaper’s masthead on February 13. And will surprise many with its subtlety.

The brand drive will supplement current tactical advertising – for such things as holiday and lottery offers – which is The Sun’s stock in trade.

The TV campaign is a series of black and white images of The Sun in everyday life, from the local cafe to the hospital waiting room, to the tattooist parlour and the BSkyB sports desk with Andy Gray.

It is an attempt to position The Sun as part of British society, according to one source. “Over the past few years strengthening brands has become even more important in all markets. The Sun is realising the power of its brand.”

The campaign was created by TBWA Simons Palmer, which in its different guises has worked with the News International title since 1994. The new push is partly an attempt to hit its main rival The Mirror, where former Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie is now deputy chief executive.

Both titles recorded circulation increases in the period between last December and January after losses in the previous 12 months. The Sun remains in the lead with an average daily sale for January of 3.7 million copies.

The Sun spent 4m on advertising last year, according to ACNielsen-MEAL figures. But it is expected to boost that spend for this campaign.

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