An Interview with the MPA … on the Unsung Hero of Accountability
We very quickly pulled together this short-term promotion to tout the strength of magazines in contributing to advertising results. It had a number of components. [We ran] cover wraps in Adweek, Mediaweek and Brandweek. We produced a little something that [ad salespeople] can hand out on a sales call … [which was] a reprint of their magazine’s cover with the “10 Top Reasons to Advertise in a Magazine”—which is an ongoing part of our message that has been in our handbook for several years and is something we’ve been handing out at conferences. This is just a new way to bring attention to it. …
Then we [decided to] see if some of the top agencies who are focusing on accountability as well would be interested in letting us come in—not to give a presentation, not to do anything at length—but just to invite people to a conference room … have your picture taken with [Captain Read] and have a smile. We gave them some red M&Ms—M for magazines—and, oh by the way, we have materials that show the value of magazines. Nine of the top 10 media-buying agencies are in New York, and they all said yes.
We’re going to post the photos from those outings on our Web site [so that] people can come see them just for a smile and a very serious message: Magazines are the medium of accountability—but [we are] using the device of something that’s a little fun but draws attention to the message.
InBox: There has been some criticism of the superhero element to the campaign. Are people putting too much emphasis on Captain Read’s role?
Oppenheim: [declines to comment on negative PR] … This is a small, two-week promotional effort around the time of the ANA’s accountability conference—at a time when media-planning accounts are looking at their allocation—to draw attention to the fact that magazines contribute to positive advertising results.