Saturday, December 29, 2007

Metro takes ad wraps to a new level

The ad wrap concept -- where an a four-page advertising section is wrapped around a newspaper, turning the front cover into an ad -- has been taken to the next level by Metro Canada. In its Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa editions, the front pages last week were mock front covers for the "Springfield Shopper," the Simpsons' hometown newspaper. The other three pages also had copy promoting the movie.

"We do a fairly significant number of cover wraps, with traditional branding and execution. But what the Simpsons (promo) did was provide content. It's the first time we've done that to this extent, across Canada," the paper's associate publisher, Irene Patterson, told

Free daily expert Piet Bakker points out that Metro's review only gave the movie three stars out of a possible five. So, at least in this case, it doesn't appear as if such an overwhelming ad influenced the paper's editorial product, Bakker writes in his Newspaper Innovation blog.

In the U.S., the Examiner chain is also doing ad wraps including one in November for the movie "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium." The movie was produced by Walden Media, a company owned by billionaire oilman Phll Anschutz, who also owns the Examiner.