MarketWatch Tries Goosing Traffic With New Campaign

In its first campaign since being acquired by Dow Jones & Company last year, financial site MarketWatch is using fantasy imagery, the goose that laid the golden egg, to stress how easy the site is to use.

Spending on the effort wasn’t disclosed.

The first rich media creative execution, designed by Dow Jones agency of record Trahan Burden and Charles, shows a goose hopping from foot to foot before laying a golden egg. The tagline reads: “Not this easy, but pretty darn easy.” It’s a departure from MarketWatch’s previous “The Story Behind the Numbers” tagline. Future creative will follow the fantasy theme, showing a hand plucking dollars from a money tree.

The company hit upon the idea of stressing ease of use after conducting extensive focus group research both with existing users and with prospective site visitors.

“People really think that it makes it easier for them to understand the markets and therefore invest,” said Jennifer Stranzl, vice president of marketing at Dow Jones’ Consumer Electronic Publishing group.

The brand awareness campaign will run on Yahoo, Google, TheStreet.com, Motley Fool, Morningstar and the NYTimes.com. Accompanying print ads will appear in the Wall Street Journal the New York Daily News and USA Today.

The campaign is aimed at driving traffic to the site at a time when MarketWatch is busy developing new offerings. MarketWatch had largely been neglected during the time it was on the auction block, said Nathan Richardson, senior vice president and general manager of Dow Jones Online.

“My goal is to reinvigorate the product pipeline,” said Richardson, adding that the company planned to develop new offerings — particularly in the video arena — for both site users and advertisers.

In conjunction with the online ad campaign, MarketWAtch has launched a sweepstakes. In the “Master of the Market” effort, participants get a chance to win an Palm handheld or a Wall Street Journal subscription each time they visit the MarketWatch site. They can also win $25,000 to invest.

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