CAMPAIGNS: Selling the idea of Sitting Ducks - Product Promotion

Launched four years ago, Cityscreen is a real-time text-based magazine, providing news and entertainment to City traders with Reuters terminals.

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

Budget: Undisclosed

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