Everybody knows print is dead, but we often overlook just how hazardous the format can be for the rest of us. The new weekend magazine from The Guardian and Observer is being called “dangerously great” by Adweek. In its latest ad, The Guardian recommends readers consume its newest print product only in moderation. Here’s what happens to one fictional reader who fails to heed that advice.
You are currently browsing the archives for the Print Advertising category.
According to new data from Kantar Media, US advertising spending for Q2 2013 is up 3.5% over the same period in 2012, to $35.8 billion. Cable TV made the greatest gains, up 14.9%, and Spanish-language TV was up 6.1%. On the other side of roster, newspaper advertising is down 4.3%.
The most interesting news to me, though, is the section on print magazines. Ad revenues for consumer magazines are up 1.9%, although (if you want to quibble over the details) they sold fewer ad pages than last year, each one at a higher average rate. And Sunday magazines, the magazines inside newspapers, grew ad revenues by 4.1% — the same rate by which Internet display ad revenue grew.
Digging into individual titles shows more signs of vitality. The September issue of Vogue is the fattest since 2008 — 665 pages of ads — and the September Elle just broke the record for highest page count ever for a Hearst publication. W, Bon Appetit, Allure, Teen Vogue and Glamour all had their best Septembers since the 2008 financial crisis. The Atlantic, with its diversified approach across print, digital and events, is on a tear.
Who’d a thunk it?
Nice tagline. But since when does reading news online or getting it from a television news source make you less smart? And the punchline of the ad — “Because a little depth looks great on you” — makes me think newspaper reading might thicken my love handles.
This is fun: On the first page of a 3-page ad sequence, Peugeot invites readers to smack the grill of one of its vehicles — a fist impersonation of an oncoming car in a head-on collision. The impact triggers a mini airbag puffing out of the steering wheel on the next page, where a 2-page spread shows the Peugeot’s interior.
Sort of like the VW print campaign where you could “test drive” their new swiveling headlights by guiding your smartphone around the curvy road pictured in the ad. And much better than VW’s recent campaign in South Africa’s Auto Trader magazine that invites readers to eat the road.
Forget ad blockers and Tivo, if you don’t like this ad you can eat it.
From Adweek: “VW South Africa has cooked up a lovely little ad you can eat — and placed it in Auto Trader magazine. ‘Eat the Road,’ reads the copy. ‘Seriously, eat it.’”
Hmm, seems like a lot of effort (and use of questionably edible ingredients) for a gimmick that won’t get much actual follow through by Auto Trader readers. How many of them will tear out the page and gobble it down?! More importantly, how many of them will come away from the ad thinking that the Golf R grips the road better than the competition? Unless Auto Trader readers also follow Adweek or ChasNote, I wonder how many will notice that VW’s ad is more special — it’s edible! — than any other display ad in that month’s magazine.
Comment from Marcia Simmons:
Pulling data from GfK MRI’s Study of the American Consumer, Adweek took a look at what the rich are reading. It’s kind of fun to see The Costco Connection among the most popular magazines. You have to wonder, is it their cost-consciousness that landed them in the top tax bracket?? But what’s more interesting is this: The most popular publications, it turns out, generally aren’t scoring so well when it comes to audience engagement. Among the top 10 most commonly read publications by rich Americans, only Consumer Reports and National Geographic are also top 10-ers when it comes to time spent reading each issue.
The other key difference between these lists: The magazines most popular among the rich are the same magazines that are most popular with lower-income Americans too. In other words, while Reader’s Digest, AARP and People are popular among older rich people, they’re also popular among older poor people — “wastage” in the eyes of many advertisers. The CPMs are much higher for magazines on the “most time spent” list.
Are they getting premium ad rates because their readers are more engaged, or just because they have fewer readers with low household incomes?
I admire the effort. But really. Can you imagine the sequence of events here?
First, imagine you’re caught up on your email, TweetDeck, RSS reader and to-do list, and your kids are asleep, so you’re reading a newspaper like you used to back in 1993. Just taking your time — you suddenly have nothing but time! — reading every article and glancing at the ads along the way. Just then you notice an ad for the insurance company AXA. What’s that? Right in the middle of the ad is something shaped like my iPhone! Oh, I see, I need to visit the App Store to download AXA’s iPhone app. Hold on a second. OK, done! Now let me put my iPhone over that iPhone-shaped thing in the ad. Oh wow! There’s a fun video followed by a product demo of something new from AXA!
It’s an inventive idea an all, but does anyone read magazines or newspapers like that anymore, let alone make time to play interactive games with print ads?
For a more favorable review, check out The Next Web’s Now This Is Remarkable. An Amazing Interactive (Newspaper) iPhone Ad.
From a recent Pew report, Americans Spending More Time Following the News. The report’s title captures two things at once. One, time spent reading news is not falling; in fact it’s up from 2000. Two, it suggests the old model (subscribing, bookmarking) is being replaced by a new paradigm (following, friending).
In today’s New York Times Sunday Styles Magazine, J Crew ran a 2-page spread that promotes its products and website — as well as products and websites of several boutique retailers that don’t seem to have any formal or financial relationship to J Crew, such as An Ambitious Project Collapsing and Silver Tears Campers.
From a short WWD piece under the headline Highlighting Some Friends:
“The company’s fall ads, which begin running in The New York Times Sunday Styles section this weekend, will shine a spotlight on some under-the-radar Web sites that offer what it deems cool, noncompeting products. ‘We like to edit and find things that are not big and famous,’ said Millard ‘Mickey’ Drexler, chief executive officer. ‘So we put together a list of our favorite Web sites that did other things and that we thought were creative. They’re small companies and they’re not out there as much as they deserve to be…. We wanted to share with our customers the things we love.’”
Wow, that’s generous. I remember an Intel commercial from 1999 that highlighted a bunch of non-Intel websites, such as eToys, but Intel’s motives were pretty clear. Some of the promoted companies were strategic investments by Intel’s VC arm, and all of them were companies that created rich, multimedia, processor-intensive websites that looked sucky on last year’s Intel chip.
It’s less clear to me what J Crew gets out of an ad that introduces readers to other cool sites that also sell stuff. For example, I went to two of the other sites but didn’t visit jcrew.com. There are plenty of ways to associate your brand with other people’s creativity or “share the things we love.” Is J Crew doing this because its employees can’t contain their love of coolness across the retail web, and they just had to do that sharing in their print ads? Really??