Ideabar, an integrated brand and media agency, today announced its critical role in the launch of “Press On,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s new brand strategy and multi-media campaign that is the largest-ever effort by the leading journalism organization in the Southeast to communicate its core mission.
The “Press On” project is the result of a tightly focused brand strategy expressed by Ideabar in a new visual and verbal brand identity system that recognizes the enterprise’s long history, points to an increasingly digital future and highlights the personal calling and rigorous work of its journalists.
“It’s an honor to come alongside a major American journalism organization as it stands up to tell its own story to the community about why the real journalism produced by its journalists is essential in 2021 and worth paying for and supporting in new ways,” said Ideabar Managing Director Amy Royster Bridger. “As a former journalist who formed Ideabar a decade ago to tell powerful brand stories, this work is deeply meaningful. An interdisciplinary team at the agency with diverse backgrounds from advertising, media and tech poured a shared passion for local journalism into this project.”
As of today, all products by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will carry a single, new masthead designed by Ideabar to ensure readers know all news and information by the organization is credible, fact-based local journalism, regardless of where or how it is published. Previously the organization’s short-hand moniker (“the AJC”) had been elevated to brand status across digital platforms.
“Whether in print or across a robust offering of digital products, we are one brand — The Atlanta-Journal Constitution,” said publisher Donna B. Hall. In-depth research conducted in part by Ideabar reveals that readers turn to the organization for real, rigorous news and that they see an active free press as essential to a functioning democracy. “Subscribers and general news readers alike really trust our full name and the important role journalists play in the community.”
The move comes after an unprecedented year for the journalism organization’s public service journalism focused on public health, social issues and Georgia elections.
“Readers are increasingly turning to our digital formats and are subscribing to them more than ever,” Hall said. “We are continuing to focus on these readership trends to ensure the journalism is funded by the community. Our name and our journalism have real value. It is worth reading and worth paying for, and we will reserve complete access for our subscribers, who help pay for our journalists’ work.”
A multimedia campaign created by Ideabar, which will span digital and social channels as well as broadcast, print and outdoor, highlights 11 journalists and focuses on what makes them press on with their hard, behind-the-scenes work. “It’s all about their calling and their persistence to get the facts, the real story,” said vice president of marketing, Amy Chown. The yearlong campaign carries the consistent message of “Press On.”
“In expressing The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s new brand meaning, which is all about passionate persistence, we thought a lot about the heroic everyday work of journalists and wanted to communicate the optimistic resolve it takes to press on under any circumstance,” said Ideabar creative director Tonya Speciale. “We juxtaposed old and new design elements, drawing inspiration from a historically significant typeface from the archives and incorporating subtle ink stains alongside new creations like a graphic motif made from parts of the new masthead that works as a graphic element and digital icon. With 29 letters and a dash in the name ‘The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,’ we had to be really creative and strategic to find a way to visually abbreviate.”
“This campaign shows we finally found our voice,” said executive editor Kevin Riley. “This puts into words and visuals what we always felt about our work. Press On is our new rally cry.”
The scope of Ideabar’s work with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution included brand strategy in partnership with Davis Brand Capital; a visual and verbal brand identity system for all B2C and B2B communications; creation of a multi-media creative campaign for print, outdoor, broadcast, social and a wide variety of digital channels; integrated multi-media planning and buying; development of updated creative assets across all brand touchpoints and divisions, including brand marketing, consumer revenue and B2B; campaign videos for broadcast and social; shareable social assets; documentation of the new brand strategy and visual and verbal system in an in-depth brand guide; and templates and libraries for ongoing adaptation and production. Ideabar employees Jorge Gomez, Staci Sturrock, Tonya Speciale, Tom Kirkpatrick and Jenna Lehtola were instrumental.
“Amy Royster and her team at Ideabar played an absolutely crucial role in bringing Press On to life,” Chown said. “They not only brought a bold, smart and modern visual identity to our brand, their passion for journalism and respect for the work of journalists truly shaped what is some of the finest work in our industry.
“It comes at an important time for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and all newspapers. I couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of the work they produced and the way they collaborated with us through a very extensive project.”
To learn more about The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s strategy, unified brand portfolio of products and examples of the “Press On” campaign, visit the Ideabar-produced brand landing page at www.ajc.com/presson.