The newspaper, recently bought by Alexander Lebedev, is about to embark on a huge sampling campaign of 3 million extra copies over the next 10 days, as revealed by Marketing Week.
These “election specials” will be supported by television, outdoor and online advertising.
This is being accompanied by a subscription drive and the first issue of the relaunch offers a guarantee to deliver The Independent “to your door” before 7 am for £5 a week, if the subscriber lives in London.
The offer includes a free magazine subscription from a “wide range of titles.”
Vanessa Clifford, head of press at Mindshare, says: “It’s quite a good revamp. It’s potentially a big turning point for them. It’s the first time they will have any marketing spend for a long time and it’s clever to use the election as a focus.”
Jo Blake, head of press at Arena BLM, adds: “It’s different and innovative.”
Clifford says that the recent history of The Independent “has been a huge lesson in not supporting a brand. It just drifts off people’s radar.”
The Independent, cover priced £1, now has two sections, with a 68-page news section and a 20-page Viewspaper issue. The front page carries the strapline “Since 1986 free from party-political ties. Free from proprietorial influence.”
The publication is to host three pre-election debates under the banner The Independent Live! in Brighton, Oxford and Cambridge, featuring columnists.
The new owner maintains that no decision has yet been made on whether to adopt a free, or partially free, model for the newspaper.