An enlightened use of social and traditional media

Seems the Vancouver Sun is seeking enlightenment on many fronts with their latest cross-promotional effort involving the Dalai Lama, Twitter, Facebook, CKNW radio, print advertising and guerilla based publicity. In the face of dwindling readership, it is this type of effort that signals a truly enlightened approach to media choices: use the best tool in your kit to get noticed, be it online traditional or a combination.

The Dalai Lama will be the guest editor of the Vancouver Sun on Saturday, Sept 26. The paper is also hoping to boost paper sales on that day, by offering enlightenment for $2.

The multi-media campaign includes a 30-second radio spot on CKNW 980am poking fun at road rage as one commuter yells at another, only to thank him for letting him enter a lane. Print ads will feature the tagline, “Enlightenment for just $2.00.” The spots bring attention to ridiculous behaviour and the need to embrace the thoughts and words of the Dalai Lama. Print ads, and the use of Facebook and Twitter, will encourage people to commit random acts of kindness and then submit them to the paper. Street teams will be handing out Dalai Lama buttons and committing random acts of kindness in an effort to garner publicity.

An enlightened approach to the use of new and traditional media – yes. Will it sell more papers over the long term? Likely not. But I like the concept and the attempt to drag themselves into this century. Newspapers are great content providers. We need to hear their voice. Any effort that shows they are in the information and entertainment business, not just the newspaper business should be commended.

Mary Charleson

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