CLIENT : The Star
  CAMPAIGN : e-Magine More Ways to Read the News


The print media crisis is real. And it is under constant attack from the Internet, and mobile phone platforms. At the same time, online news are mostly available for free, leading to drastic decline in newspaper sales, especially in the West. Whilst this phenomenon has yet to truly hit our shores, we cannot assume this will always be the case. In Malaysia, with 25.3 million internet users or 89% of the population connected online and the Gen Y population making up 46% of the nation – that’s 11.4 million millennials that has grown up with technology.


As Malaysia’s top English newspaper, The Star recognised that future proofing their business was inevitable in order to stay in business. Introducing a digital version of the newspaper was the sure solution, but the challenge was to get Malaysians to pay and subscribe to a long term digital newspaper, which was identical to the print when Digital news is expected to be free, and current print category purchase behavior is on a per issue basis. This led to a strategic decision of bundling both editions – print and digital – and offering them as a packaged subscription to readers with a value proposition. But how do you tell Malaysians they need two versions of the similar newspaper?

There was a huge opportunity to tap on this target with our unique product features. We informed readers of “e-Magine More Ways to Read the News”—the upwardly mobile Malaysian’s solution to a credible source for the day’s news. To prove that we were offering more ways to read the news, we capitalized on the relevance of point in time mediums using creative messaging to attract our target.

Our media mix comprised of mediums where our target was getting their daily dose of the news. So we turned to print, radio and online. To overcome the value perception and to entice long-term commitment, we introduced the Star ePaper bundled with the print paper at a promo price of RM260 per year. Subscribers get two formats of the news at two-thirds the price of the print version. We also incentivized newspaper vendors for converting print readers to The Star ePaper subscribers.


Our business objective was to achieve more new subscriptions in 3 months – that’s an ambitious 13% increase in a category that is faced by the threat of declining readership, especially amongst the English language dailies. In May 2012, within the first month of the campaign alone, we acquired almost 88% of our targeted new subscriptions that was set for 3 months (May to July 2012). By the end of July 2012, we achieved a phenomenal 182% increase from the original campaign target.