Many people think of magazines as flat pieces of paper in flat publications, but truth is, the pages can be much more dynamic than that. Advertisers and marketers have a unique opportunity with magazines that they don’t have with other media.

Some great examples that we’ve seen lately:

  • People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive issue featured a scratch-n-sniff area of the men’s favorite fragrances on several pages.
  • Shape magazine has pullout exercise cards to slip into your gym bag for reference later during your workout.
  • Kraft Food and Family also includes perforated recipe cards featuring Kraft ingredients in recipes, perfect for tearing out and saving in a recipe box or sticking to your refrigerator.

But the options are endless:

  • Restaurants or travel-related businesses could include postcards (think magazine subscription cards) along with their magazine ads. That single ad would then go through several hands before getting to its final recipient in the mail.
  • Anyone offering a discount in a print ad could include a “share this” section where a clipped section of the ad could be shared with a friend who can then receive the same discount.
  • If an advertiser wants their ad seen first and often, perhaps opting for a special wrap or full pullout section is the way to go.

When I was a teenager, I pulled a poster of Leif Garrett from the pages of a teen magazine and taped it to my wall. After years of looking at it on a daily basis, I will forever remember his blond hair shining in the sunlight and the Bell Helmets hat he was wearing in the photo. That’s what you want magazine advertising to do: Stay with a reader longer than the amount of time it takes them to flip the page.
Looking for new places to advertising in a magazine is not only creative, it can also be controversial. For example, some people objected to a sponsored “mini cover guide” that appears on the current issue of Esquire. However, we think it’s great, if the readers think it’s great. (We believe readers are the ultimate decision makers on such ideas). After the controversy arose, an official at the leading association of magazine editors agreed that the mini-guide did not violate any of its guidelines.
And speaking of “mini,” how could we write on this topic without mentioning all the great “off-the-page” magazine advertising Mini Cooper has used over the past several years. We recently saw news about an ad that has run in German auto magazines that gives new meaning to the term “jump off the page.” The ad uses a technology called “Augmented Reality” to do something to a magazine ad that even we can’t believe — or even explain. Watch the YouTube video and you still not believe your eyes.
Association publications can learn a few lessons from the way these consumer and custom publications are being creative about connecting with their readers. If you are looking for looking for ways to make your advertising packages and in-house ads grab the attention of your readers, contact us.