News & Opinion

2016 - That's a (cover) wrap

The Christmas decs are down, resolutions made and healthy eating plans dusted off, but before 2016 disappears from our rear-view mirrors, it's worth having a look back at some of the brilliant cover wraps that adorned newspapers last month, says Newsworks' Jessie Sampson. 

From a smart Smart Energy ad to Chanel's gift-wrapped Sunday Times, there were some innovative and interesting cover wraps in December. Here's some of the most eye-catching:

Smart Energy GB

To advertise the introduction of smart meters that let customers track their energy usage, Smart Energy GB ran an ad on the front of the Daily Mirror to create intrigue among readers and encourage them to find out more. Written in black text on a white background, the ad read "Aaargh! Make sure you don't run out…", with the text becoming increasingly faded to demonstrate loss of energy. More information was available on the back page, but the unbranded front page creative shows how a simple ad can have a visual impact.


The designer brand made a suitably stylish statement by wrapping The Sunday Times in a translucent cover wrap, printed with a repeat pattern of Chanel N°5. Aside from the fact that opening the paper felt like unwrapping a present (always a good thing), the beautiful ad chimed perfectly with the sense of indulgence and luxury that the perfume brand connotes. With recent talk of whether publishers can gain from the growth of luxury advertising, this ad is a brilliant example of how high-end brands can utilise newspapers beyond the range of supplements on offer.


As those of us who are feeling the effects of over-eating know, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without lots of food. There's always room for one more wedge of stilton or a sneaky mince pie. Sainsbury's cover wrap of The Telegraph's Food & Drink supplement conveyed this season of gastronomic excess perfectly. Colourful and glossy, the ad folded out to provide a panoramic format depicting a family Christmas and the associated festive fare.

It's a great use of print to communicate the excess of Christmas in an engaging way. The fact that readers have to touch the ad in order to unfold it is also a plus, considering that Newsworks' Touching is believing research with UCL and PHD found that touching print ads increases people's belief that a brand is honest and sincere by 41%, quality perceptions by 20% and purchase intent by 24%.

Half a Sixpence

Theatreland comes into its own over Christmas. Whether it's carols, the ballet or a good old musical, the west-end of London teams with stage stars and captive audiences. In this environment, a cover wrap on the Evening Standard in mid-December publicised the capital's run of Half a Sixpence.

It's no secret that all shows aspire to rave reviews in the following morning's papers (which was actually the case when this production made its London debut in November), so the cover wrap played on its medium cleverly by creating its own front page. Headlined 'Flash Bang Wallop - What a show!', the creative was ideally placed to grab attention and make an impact.

All of the above show that by experimenting with size, material and content, advertisers can push the boundaries of the standard cover wrap format to make an innovative and eye-catching statement.

A version of this blog was first published on INMA.  

by Jessie Sampson 04/01/17

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