Words matter for The

The Gazette's front page for Oct. 20, 2010

If you picked up the Gazette today and have a keen eye for detail, you may have noticed that the word “Gazette” in the nameplate has been deleted (except for the Digital Edition, where it appears normally the Digital Edition has since been unfixed).

A similar move was done online for a few hours this morning:

The Gazette website without the "Gazette" part

Rest assured, it was done on purpose.

The front-page gimmick, explained on Page A3 by publisher/EIC Alan Allnutt, is a new phase of the newspaper’s Words Matter campaign:

Starting this week, you’ll notice ads on radio, online, around town and in the paper with a new style but the same Words Matter attitude you’ve become familiar with over the past few years.

A big part of this new campaign is using The from our iconic masthead to highlight the stories that really matter to you. You can get news from many sources but when you look for stories that are local, that resonate to you, you turn to The Gazette for The news that really matters.

Gazette cover Aug. 18, 2006

Words Matter began on August 18, 2006, when The Gazette tried a similar stunt by removing all the words from its front page (PDF), with the exception of the dateline and bar code numbers. It certainly caused a splash (certainly in the industry), though some apparently got the impression that the page was some sort of memorial to teen tennis player Stéphanie Dubois, whose picture dominated.

The Words Matter campaign is the brainchild of bleublancrouge, The Gazette’s marketing agency, which recently hired Gazette marketing VP Bernard Asselin as its new president.

UPDATE: You can track a bit of the social media reaction to the move here:

Bleublancrouge has uploaded a radio and TV ad for the Stuff We Carry series so you’ll get an idea of what the new campaign will look and sound like.

MarketingQC has a blog post up about the move, which unlike reaction from the online peanut gallery is pretty positive.

9 thoughts on “Words matter for The

  1. Bob Bee Gee

    Charlie Fidelman is a woman? This was a bigger surprise than the nameplate gimmick.

    The what’s in your bag series is an interesting feature.

  2. ant6n

    On Guy there’s a Bilboard saying “What The?”, where “What” is drawn in bubbles, and “The” is the gazette one.
    I stopped and thought about it for a a minute or two, and concluded it must’ve been the Gazette. So I guess the ad worked.

  3. Fassero

    I concluded that if I see a Montreal ad with the Engllish word “The” in it in a classical font, it must be the Gazette :)

  4. Singlestar

    I keep remembering that Words Matter when there are typos, slang in headlines, and copywriters who don’t know the difference between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

  5. AlexH

    THE New York Times (similar font and all) might find all this “the”-ing to be amusing.

    Words matter. Content matters more.


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