Magazines tout “the power of print” in new campaign

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As announced in the Wall Street Journal last month, a pro-print campaign spearheaded by five major magazine publishers launched this month. “Magazines: The Power of Print” will deploy ads in close to 100 magazines this year, including People, Vogue, and Ladies’ Home Journal, according to the Journal. The first in the series, which appears in Rolling Stone, features a portrait of Olympic medalist Michael Phelps by our own Jim Fiscus (above) for ESPN The Magazine.

The publishers behind the campaign are Charles H. Townsend, Condé Nast; Cathie Black, Hearst Magazines; Jack Griffin, Meredith Corporation; Ann Moore, Time Inc.; and Jann Wenner, Wenner Media. The agency was Young & Rubicam.

“A lot of us sat back for way too long and listened to all this abuse and said nothing about it,” Wenner told the Journal. “Meanwhile, we sit on top of one of the greatest mediums.”

The publishers also filmed a short video for the campaign:

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I’ve posted the campaign’s official press release after the break. Or you can find it here.

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MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS UNITE & UNVEIL INDUSTRY-WIDE AD CAMPAIGN PROMOTING STRENGTH OF—AND CONSUMER COMMITMENT TO—MAGAZINES
“Magazines, The Power of Print” Campaign to Launch in Nearly 100 Magazines, Reaching 112 Million Readers Per Month

SAN FRANCISCO, March 1, 2010, 8 a.m. ET /PRNewswire/ — The leaders of five major magazine companies—Charles H. Townsend, Condé Nast; Cathie Black, Hearst Magazines; Jack Griffin, Meredith Corporation; Ann Moore, Time Inc.; and Jann Wenner, Wenner Media—today jointly announced the launch of one of the largest print advertising campaigns ever created to promote the vitality of magazines as a medium. The announcement was made at the opening day of the 2010 4A’s Leadership/Media Conference in San Francisco.

Created by Y&R NY, the “Magazines, The Power of Print” campaign will roll out in the May issues (for weeklies, the issues on sale the week of April 5) of nearly 100 titles and run for seven months in magazines and Web sites from the five publishers, as well as Active Interest Media, American Express Publishing, Bonnier Corporation, Emmis Publications, ESPN, National Geographic, New York Magazine, and third-party sites in the food, shelter, sports, entertainment, fashion and news categories, reaching a combined 112 million readers per month. A complementary digital component will support the print campaign beginning this spring.

With the full support of the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA), the campaign targets advertisers, shareholders and industry influencers, and seeks to reshape the broader conversation about magazines, challenge misperceptions about the medium’s relevancy and longevity, and reinforce magazines’ important cultural role.

To achieve maximum impact, the ads will debut as color spreads, prominently placed in May issues of the publishers’ top titles with headlines such as, “We Surf the Internet. We Swim in Magazines.” And “Will the Internet Kill Magazines? Did Instant Coffee Kill Coffee?” These will be accompanied by iconic images lifted from the pages of America’s best-known magazines. A second phase, which will start appearing in June issues, will embed multiple cover images from widely recognized publications into the ad’s text to convey key phrases. To view ad visuals, visit the downloadable photos section on the right.

A special “Magazines” logo will debut with the campaign. Y&R NY created the image by combining the distinctive typographies of multiple magazine logos: “M” from Time, “A” from Vanity Fair, “G” from Rolling Stone, “A” from Entertainment Weekly, “Z” from Harper’s Bazaar, “I” from Marie Claire, “N” from Fortune, and “ES” from Esquire.

Metrics supporting the campaign’s message include:

1. Magazine readership has risen 4.3% over the past five years (Source: MRI Fall 2009, Fall 2005 data)
2. Average paid subscriptions reached nearly 300 million in 2009 (Source: MPA estimates based on ABC first half 2009 and second half 2009 data)
3. Adults 18-34 are avid magazine readers. They read more issues and spend more time per issue than their over-34 counterparts (Source: MRI Fall 2009 data)
4. During the 12-year life of Google, magazine readership increased 11% (Source: MRI Fall 2009 data)
5. Magazine effectiveness is growing. Ad recall has increased 13% over the past five years. Action-taking—based on readers recalling specific ads—increased by 10%. (Source: Affinity’s VISTA Print Effectiveness Rating Service, 2005-2009)
6. Magazines outperform other media in driving positive shifts in purchase consideration/intent. (Source: Dynamic Logic)

“There’s a reason magazines are such an enduring and engaging media force,” said Charles H. Townsend, president & CEO of Condé Nast. “The format showcases our rich content and our advertisers’ brand messages like no other medium, resulting in a bond with consumers that is uniquely powerful.”

“This campaign supports the fact that there really is no better medium to advertise in than magazines,” said Cathie Black, president, Hearst Magazines. “Magazines are the most cost effective and consistent medium at both ends of the purchase funnel. They drive consumer attitudes and intended behavior more effectively and efficiently than viewing television advertising alone or when TV is combined with online advertising.”

“The campaign reflects the vitality magazines have now, and will continue to have with audiences of all ages,” said Jack Griffin, president, Meredith National Media. “Clearly, magazines continue to resonate on many levels with consumers, and this is reflected in the enormous trust and value readers have for their favorite magazine titles.”

“Together, we can change the conversation about magazines and share what we in the business know to be true: magazines are relevant, play an important role in society and have a strong future ahead,” said Ann Moore, chairman & CEO, Time Inc. “This campaign showcases those messages of relevancy and longevity.”

“Magazines have enduring values for readers and advertisers that have gotten a little neglected and misunderstood in the era of Internet instant buzz and chatter,” said Jann Wenner, chairman, Wenner Media. “Magazines are beloved and powerful in people’s lives for very good reasons that need to be remembered and reinforced. That’s what this campaign is about.”

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3 Comments

  1. Posted 04/06/2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    After seeing this spread in Vogue last night, I couldn’t help but think that this wasn’t about invoking the power of print, but a desperate plea to readers to not abandon print. If readership is up in the last number of years, that seems to be evidence that print magazines are flourishing, not dying by the light of the internet. But why tell the readership about it? It felt more like this sad attempt to say, “hey! we’re still cool! look at us! ignore the internet!”

  2. Posted 04/08/2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    A magazine conglomerate placing ads in 100 magazines doesn’t – off the bat – strike me as the evolution alluded to in the video.

    Looking forward to the part of the campaign that reaches outside the print world.

  3. Yvonne
    Posted 04/20/2010 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I think the message is right on! I love magazine’s & hate to see a total abandonment of print just because we are being driven to other mediums. Yes the internet & facebook are great, however, I for one enjoy sitting at the pool, at the beach,or relaxing on a saturday reading & enjoying a good magazine or book.
    I don’t see how I would curl up to a good kindle or Ipad the same way I do a book or magazine! More power to keeping print!


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