Tag Archives: magazine

The Most Effective Magazine Ads of 2011


Image from industryleadersmagazine.com

What makes a magazine ad effective? When purchasing a magazine or a newspaper, we mostly look for the stories we are interested in reading. Magazines are not bought for the ads. It’s an indirect way of selling something. That’s why the placement of magazine advertising must be strategic. Advertising, whether in a magazine, newspaper, TV, or radio must be strong and an attention grabber. Good advertising speaks the consumer’s language in a significant way; it’s inspiring enough for consumers to take action and buy the products or service. How do you actually do that, when in today’s world you see as many as 1,000 ads in a single day?!

There are different ways to reach customers through print advertising. Details to consider when creating a print ad are: size, color, bleed, and positioning. The headline should be the most important part of the ad. If using an image, it must be captivating, whether in a humorous, sarcastic, or some other way. Never forget the offer: What’s in it for the customer?! Of course, the call to action should be prominent. Last but not the least, think of the target audience in order to chose the right publication.

To see the most effective magazine ads of 2011, click here.

I have recently booked a trip to Barcelona thanks to a Budget Travel ad. Do you have a story to share of when a magazine ad inspired you to take action?

Author: Marina Kaljaj


Are cross-media hooks, hashtags, and social badges the new footer for advertising? A study of 7 magazines reveals that use of cross-media hooks is low.


The introduction of the Internet as significant competition for traditional advertising sources opened the door for wider adoption of hooks, or cross-media connections. Now advertising is containing more and more integrated forms of communication geared to take people from one medium to another. The medium in which advertising is consumed is a factor in the success of the campaign, which accounts for the massive advertising industry with its unique niches carved out by agencies vying for some of the more than $100 billion spent on advertising (last year’s figure) in the US. Whether in out-of-home mediums like rail and subway advertising or the sometimes-more-focused print magazine advertising, cross-media hooks like QR codes, social media badges, and hashtags are used today across various market segments. Based on a recent casual survey of the latest issues of seven magazines, however, cross-media hooks are not used as frequently as one might guess.


Cross-media hooks in these magazines included references to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn either by use of the traditional square badge, tag line (“Follow” or “Friend”), or URL. Among the seven titles reviewed, no one cross-media hook was used by more than 20% of the advertisements in each title. So here we have a market of 4.8 billion mobile phones worldwide, with 428 million units sold in 2011 alone, many of which may correlate to a significant portion of the 175 million Twitter and 800 million Facebook users worldwide. Why don’t more magazine advertisers focus on implementing cross-media hooks? In the age of the downward spiral of circulation and poor conversion to electronic media, why aren’t more magazines pushing the use of cross-media hooks in their advertising sales and internal advertising efforts?

The higher use of QR codes points to the prevalent misuse of the technology, as many of the codes in the sample group lead to non-mobile-optimized webpages. With the right social media metrics platform in place, traffic from cross-media hooks leading to social networks like Facebook and Twitter can lead to a better understanding of how particular market segments respond to advertising.

This all begs the question: With the massive expansion of social media and the use of cross-media hooks, are we isolating any one group of our target audience? Fifteen years ago, with use of the Internet rising, many advertisements contained references to mailing addresses and 800 numbers for consumers who wanted more information. Websites were in the minority, but now a company logo, tag line, and website (and legal disclosure) are standard for virtually all advertisements. In other mediums, like out-of-home advertising on mass transit, the use of cross-media hooks like hashtags and social media references are significant. They tell the viewer, “Look, we are trendy and current––find us on social media.”


Are we isolating the portion of the target audience who doesn’t get the contextual clues of a square of color with a letter or bird and an octothorpe (#) used in front of a word? Yes, we are, but the numbers don’t lie. The exponential adoption of Internet-capable devices with cameras and an operating system capable of supporting third-party apps shows that the collision of mobile, social, and local is the future of visual communication. Use cross-media hooks and integrate social media into marketing and advertising efforts to be one step ahead of the curve.

P.S. Infinite Utterly Orange points for anyone willing to submit a book report on the ISO 18004:2006 IT specification for automatic identification and data capture techniques––just the type of winter reading this author loves!

Author: John Carew

How will Apple’s Newsstand Affect the Printing Industry?

Last week, Apple released details on its new operating systems for iOS devices and personal computers. With this came the introduction of many new and innovative features, which John Carew documented in last week’s technology post. The one feature that has a direct link to the printing industry is Newsstand.

Newsstand is your digital “news rack” for all your magazines and newspapers. Apple is hoping to make digital subscriptions to these publications more user friendly by separating them from the iBooks completely. Subscriptions would be purchased once and updated automatically in the background when new issues are released.

So, one may ask, what does this have to do with the printing industry? Many would say nothing, but I would argue that it has everything to do with the printing industry. It seems like every time Apple releases a platform that allows other parties to sell their products to iOS users, it’s a huge success. Take for example iTunes, which revitalized the music industry; the App Store, which put small developers on the map; iBooks, which made amateur authors famous; and lastly the Mac App Store, which doubled and even quadrupled developers’ revenue in 6 months! Given that track record, who in his right mind would think that Newsstand won’t have an impact on print?

Of course, magazines and newspapers will still be found in printed form, but that won’t be the majority of the circulation. With over 200 million iOS users, the conversion rate from print to digital media should be astounding. But this is not about a diminishing industry; it’s about a changing industry. Designers who laid out print ads will now be learning how to design and lay out digital publications. With the new release of Quark 9, this will be easier than ever! Those who think this is bad news have already missed the boat. This could be for the printing industry what the iTunes Store was for the music industry. Stay tuned!

Will you convert from printed subscriptions to digital subscriptions?

Author: John Mehl

Adweek Redesigns its Magazine

Pentagram was recently hired to redesign the popular advertising industry magazine Adweek. The firm also worked on Brandweek and Mediaweek. The new design does a great job of energizing the layout, titles, and colors of the magazines. You can read more about the redesign on Pentagram’s website.

Old layout:


New layout:

Author: Eric Swenson

The Most Effective Magazine Ads of 2010

Does advertising work? Do ads inspire purchases?

Strong and strategic advertising must capture the attention of the audience, be understandable, quickly communicate a message that will be memorable and important, and motivate action on the consumers’ end. With so many products presently available in the market, it’s very important to find a way to get the most out of print advertising and reach consumers with the right message. If the message isn’t right––no matter how creative the ad is––it will not get the product sold!

Which magazine ads best inspired readers to buy or consider buying last year?

Check it out!

Author: Marina Kaljaj

Digital Versions More Expensive Than Print Editions––Why?

No one doubts that the iPad and other mobile devices have revolutionized the marketplace. As consumers start to embrace this new technology, we have seen magazine and newspaper publishers offer digital versions of their titles in the hope of saving their falling printed title sales. What took me by surprise is that, more often than not, the price for the digital version is at or above the price for a hard copy. So the question becomes: Is the digital version worth more than the print edition?

I say yes! But let’s go into detail. What do you get with the printed version of a magazine or newspaper? Basically what you get are articles and advertisements. But what most print advocates will say is that you get the “hands-on experience.” While I too agree that this experience––from touch to smell, and even quality––is bar none, I have to admit it’s impractical. Just taking a quick survey on my commuter train reveals no one with a magazine or newspaper in hand! All the passengers, including me, have their faces buried in their smartphones. So what has fueled this dependency on mobile technology? It’s the convenience factor. Having your magazines, newspapers, games, calendar, and email on the same device that never leaves your side is utter convenience.

Back on topic, so what is it that you get in the digital version of a publication that warrants the higher price? You get the same articles and ads that are found in the print version, and then there is the digital content. Sure, you can flip through the pages just like you would in the print version, but what happens when you touch a picture? This is the selling point for digital editions: Inanimate objects come to life! When you touch a picture, you get more photos, or even a video. When you like a product in an ad, you can spin it around to look at it from all angles. Lastly, when you are ready to purchase that item, you can do so right there. It’s now about more than just the articles and ads––it’s about interactivity. Keeping readers in the publication longer, interacting with the articles and purchasing products right from the ads they found them in––this is marketing statistics at its best. How would you like to know the minute someone looked at your ad in a magazine and then, moments later, purchased it? You can’t get those stats from print!

Again, it’s all about convenience. Gone are the days of the magazine bin at home constantly overflowing or the purse bursting at the seams while the passenger boards her flight. It is the quintessential one-stop shop, the device that will run your life (or maybe even find you a wife). You won’t see mobile devices strewn across the street or filling up a recycling bin. Your device will be by your side, feeding you the information only you want. Helping you save time or waste time, your device will be indispensable. So, what happens when you leave home without it?

Author: John Mehl