The Financial Times revealed a refreshed FT Weekend on Saturday, complete with a global brand marketing push and a new print and digital subscription bundle that combines premium digital access to FT.com and delivery of the Saturday newspaper.
Posted on: 20 March 2017 09:00
Alec Russell: "FT Weekend delights and inspires our readers with unimpeachably classy coverage of the arts and lifestyle."
The campaign is aimed at a growing readership who favour the immersive experience of print on the weekend while remaining highly engaged with digital journalism during the week, says the FT.
Hard on the heels of FT Weekend’s hat-trick at this week’s UK Press Awards, where FT Magazine won Supplement of the Year, FT Weekend’s Simon Usborne was voted top travel writer and Henry Mance was named Interviewer of the Year for his Lunch with the FT interviews, the campaign presents the allure of FT Weekend, home to the Financial Times’ “world-class” lifestyle, arts and culture writing.
FT Weekend editor Alec Russell said: “FT Weekend delights and inspires our readers with unimpeachably classy coverage of the arts and lifestyle that is written and edited by an exceptional collection of journalists. It is a home for award-winning, long-form writing – as highlighted by our three prestigious prizes in this week’s UK Press Awards. For us, it is culture rather than the cult of celebrity that matters. As one FT Weekend reader said recently, it chooses content that’s “not just hip that week, but very well-rounded… I love that it comes out on Saturdays because I then have two days to indulge and enjoy it.”
According to the FT, the refresh includes a number of editorial changes:
* A redesigned front page which highlights the rich variety of journalism in FT Weekend and embodies its dynamic, colourful spirit.
* A redesigned FT Magazine, introducing a new big interview that probes the private passions of public figures, a weekly page with FT journalists delivering ‘how to’ tips to readers (also available as a video online), and a new feature with well known figures recommending their favourite food and shops around the world.
* A new weekly satirical column by political writer Henry Mance
* A new column by Tim Harford, the FT’s Undercover Economist.
* A new global column by Merryn Somerset Webb, FT’s Personal Finance commentator, in addition to her FT Money column.
* A new tech notebook, Techland: Notes from the digital bunker, to be launched next month.
* A weekly column starting in April from Pilita Clark, winner of Environment Journalist of the Year at this week’s UK Press Awards
* A new FT Weekend video channel, FT Life, to launch in April.
* An expanded events schedule including events in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Paris to meet the growing demand from readers for engagement with writers and editors, a bespoke FT Weekend day at the Oxford Literary Festival. This follows the success of last year’s inaugural FT Weekend Festival which attracted 2,000 people to London to hear from FT Weekend columnists and leading figures from the arts, music, literature, fashion and politics, and will be back this September.
The integrated global marketing campaign will appear across print, digital, and social media, at events, retail, and out of home. It supports the FT’s readership growth drive by building brand reach, awareness, affinity and engagement with its journalism. The creative images, produced by global agency Founded, make a bold contrast between professionals’ weekday vs weekend lifestyle, featuring items hand-picked by FT editors, says the FT. An additional creative has been commissioned to an illustration artist and will launch in May with media partnerships at art fairs in New York and Hong Kong.
FT chief communications and marketing officer Darcy Keller said, “The new campaign emphasises the distinctive and rewarding experience readers around the world find in the pages of FT Weekend. With few exceptions, people are growing more and more busy during the week, driven by to do lists, focused on immediate tasks and scanning news in bite-sized chunks and on in-between time. We all look forward to that weekend feeling when our time is ours – not to tune out, but to tune in. FT Weekend, with its original, thought-provoking writing, is tailor-made for people who want to expand their horizons and relax – without switching off.”