Launched four years ago, Cityscreen is a real-time text-based
magazine, providing news and entertainment to City traders with Reuters
The system works in a similar way to Teletext with viewers able to dial
up different pages to find everything from daily newspaper summaries to
ball-by-ball cricket commentary.
As this is the only on-line information service to access the closed
networks of the trading floors it has a unique high earning, high
spending, youth audience. This makes it an attractive medium for
companies to run branded quizzes, promotions and advertising.
Traditionally, Cityscreen has pitched directly to client companies, but
in 1998 it decided to promote its hidden audience to PR, advertising and
sales promotion agencies.
To raise awareness of Cityscreen with marketing communications agencies,
as an exclusive vehicle to reach high consuming, financial traders
In February 1998, Cityscreen worked with London-based company, Titanic
Design to come up with the idea of its ABC1 audience being ’Sitting
A direct mail campaign featuring a water pistol and the slogan ’If you
want to target Sitting Ducks, Affluent Boys in the City’ was organised
for the end of April. This was sent to over 550 agency account handlers
and planner/buyers with a reply card and fax number to obtain a free
rubber duck and further information about Cityscreen. A smaller number
of boxed versions containing an additional press pack were mailed to
more senior personnel.
To coincide with this, in the last week of April, the company also ran
’Sitting Ducks’ press ads in business trade titles such as Media
To build awareness of the campaign, Cityscreen became media partners of
Wambam’s 18 awards celebrating the best of the year’s entertainment for
adults. Held at Alexandra Palace on 24 April and hosted by Ulrika
Jonsson and Mark Lamarr, the company also sponsored the award for ’Best
Advertisement Campaign.’ To mark this, model Joanne Guest held a prize
draw to win tickets to the event on the main trading floor of
Eurobrokers on 10 April. To further the campaign, Cityscreen is
launching its website in the next month.
Cityscreen marketing manager Vicky Grinnell says: ’The sales force have
received a significantly increased number of enquiries.’ As yet, she is
unable to name any bookings as a direct result of the campaign, but says
she has a number of presentations lined up with agencies including
Grayling PR and Optimedia UK.
The direct mail campaign was a simple, fun way of reaching the target
audience. In addition, supporting the Wambam Awards meant Cityscreen was
able to reflect the youth and entertainment values of its own magazine
to over 170 invited agency personnel and media journalists.
It is too early to judge the financial success of this campaign, but
agency interest is definitely there. As Cityscreen is a text based
service it seems certain that many of the current ’discreet’
negotiations with PR agencies will result in a positive outcome.
Client: Cityscreen on Reuters
PR Team: In-house
Campaign: Sitting Ducks
Timescale: Ongoing from February 1998