Master Manufacturer: 13 Ways to Fight the Ad Downturn
With ad pages projected to decline in 2009, publishers are looking for every possible advantage to draw advertisers to printed magazines. Sure, the stampede continues toward screens and away from pages, but the magazine has some compelling properties as an effective marketing medium. Here, from the manufacturing side, are some ideas to present to your ad sales team.
On the Cover
If The New York Times can sell advertising on the front page, perhaps you can, too. This is not for the faint of heart—a cover is your most prestigious page, and any commercial message here runs the risk of alienating readers and contaminating your editorial with a crass overtone. But, if the ad and the audience fit together well, the result can be stimulating and even fun.
Slap on a sticker alerting readers to an ad or an issue sponsorship. Your printer can purchase the stickers for you, and you can choose from a vast array of colors, and die-cut shapes and sizes. The cost of the sticker itself and the printer’s application is significantly lower than the impact it can have on a cover. Charge the advertiser a hefty markup, and require the purchase of an underlying page or spread. Or, use the sticker as a free premium to reward a major ad schedule.
2. French-Door Cover
Everyone peeks. The overlap panel on a French-door cover is impossible to resist, so whatever an advertiser wants to put here is certain to be seen. This type of tactile impression is precisely what makes a magazine as a physical object different from a Web page. Production costs are fairly high and may require an unusual roll width or heavier basis weight, so this gimmick is not for the last-minute ad sale.
3. Cover Flap
Another peek-a-boo device is the partial cover, either tipped on or bound. The front cover tip-on requires the least paper and has some of the same impact as the French door. For saddle-stitch publications, you can bind a full back page and a partial front, or a partial cover front and back. (Beware of the potential wear and tear in the mailstream, though.) The flap can be designed to match your editorial cover with only the underside sporting the ad message, or it can start selling a product right away. For high impact, consider giving the flap a die-cut edge, like a wavy or pointed border.