Our Work Left Right

The rest is Cancan. Launch Campaign

Year: 2007

The Challenge:

The Romanian daily newspapers market is split into three main categories: tabloids, sports newspapers and quality newspapers.

Although a successful format, no one had claimed “tabloid” positioning, because of the negative perceptions among the marketing community that could affect the advertising revenues. The gap between Libertatea (300.000 copies/day) and the second ranked tabloid, Click (35,000 copies/day) seems like an opportunity for launching a new tabloid. In a market where the competitors are increasing solely based on promotional offers, Cancan is determined not to bribe its readers with prizes, but rather convince them through what Cancan is, a tabloid. In this respect, Cancan’s goal is to win its readers by the power of brand, not the power of bribe, having the objective of selling 40,000 copies daily, starting with day 1. CANCAN is the first newspaper that was not ashamed with being a tabloid, but on the contrary, it would stand up and claim the category for itself. 

 The Campaign:

The strategy was a brand centric, not consumer centric approach. Talk about what Cancan is, not about what it does for the reader. The name helps a lot (the word “cancan” is the Romanian for “gossip”).

Focus on introducing the name Cancan and communicating what a tabloid really is, sensational subjects, celebrities, secrets revealed

The message is Simple and straightforward – “Sensational things are reflected in Cancan”

We used as tone of voice the paparazzi like –a little bit ironic, a little bit aggressive, straightforward and smart.

The creative idea: Extraordinary things happening to average people and turning them into celebrities, paparazzi everywhere, ready to catch any “faux pas”, secrets revealed.

Executions: As many executions as possible. In TV, we chose to use only lines and black screens in order to save money on production, but also in order to avoid the legal issues related to the use of name celebrities. Subjects ranged from how a well-known fashion designer’s husband shot a burglar, to the president of the country drinking and driving, from the former prime-minister leaving his wife for a young singer, to international topics like the Clinton-Lewinsky affair or Princess Diana’s car crash. We also brought the campaign in the streets, making everybody a potential star:

  • Paparazzi. At the busiest street-lights, we took pictures of waiting drivers then instantly made them the stars on the fake front page of Cancan. This generated a lot of word-of-mouth.
  • Gossip (BIG newspaper). In the subway, we had teams of young actors commenting every hot subject in oversized Cancan newspapers.
  • OOPS (toilet media). 50 pubs and restaurants in Bucharest had a surprise for every man that visited the urinals. 10 seconds after the guy was standing in front of the urinal, a flash would go on, and his attention was drawn to the ad announcing that Cancan has just found the man with the largest penis in the country.

The headline: The rest is Cancan

The Results:

Objective surpassed 37,7%.

The launch of Cancan was a big boom with a 41,310 average number of daily copies in April 2007 (source: BRAT – April 2007). Cancan went straight to number 8 most sold daily newspapers in Romania, by the end of first month. Despite the competitive promotional offers, Cancan encountered an additional 21,5% (Sept 2007 vs. April 2007) due to its launching campaign strategy.


Cancan’s website grabbed almost 63.000 online readers in the first two weeks (by the end of April)

www.cancan.ro went directly to no.12 most visited websites in Romania, according to trafic.ro. In September 2007, the number of unique online readers reached 1,060,894, seventeen times higher than April 2007 and 259% increase versus May 2007. It is obvious that the launch campaign raised interested for the tabloid content of Cancan and made people buy and keep an eye on it.