On August 20th, 2013, Al Jazeera Media Network launched a cable news channel in the U.S. called Al Jazeera America (AJAM), with the promise of bringing a new level of depth and unbiased reporting to domestic news.
The challenges were many: build awareness for a relatively unknown brand, combat consumers’ deep rooted misconceptions about a foreign-owned media organization, and carve an own-able position in an already saturated cable news marketplace.
Together, Leroy & Clarkson teamed with our client, and other AJAM partners, to develop the platform ‘There’s More To It’ in order to face the many brand challenges head on. Just as great journalism challenges assumptions, our strategy was to inform consumers that there’s more to news, there’s more to the story, and there’s more to AJAM.
After immersing ourselves in the brand’s philosophy and surveying the already crowded cable news space, we emerged with a campaign that would ignore the false assumptions, avoid disparaging the competition, and showcase the new channel’s point of difference. We created documentary-like commercials that featured portraits of American news consumers whose lives had been touched by major news events, as well as an all-text approach, running in tandem, which contrasted the current state of TV news with the Al Jazeera America promise.
Apparently, it worked. Our collaborative 360 campaign effort, with AJAM and its partners, sparked a wave of awareness and recognition for the new channel. Americans have responded by requesting that their cable providers carry Al Jazeera America. The channel, which started out in 43 million homes, now reaches over 52 million homes and counting. It has also been the recipient of some of journalism’s most prestigious awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award. The market is taking note – Al Jazeera America – there really is more to it.