Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Trains

Posted by Scott On October - 16 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

The Dec/Jan 2018 issue of Canada’s History is set to hit newsstands on November 20th, 2017.

This time slot is almost always their most productive selling period.

And whenever we have run a cover featuring trains, we have sold exceptionally well, breaking sales records!

Art Director James Gillespie has created another classic “poster style” cover.  A clean white background, bold use of type, simple main sell line and supporting sell line, and a tasteful starburst gives this cover a timeless feel.

The first 3 issues of 2017 have all been Record Breakers too!

Re-Design for Canadian Woodworking

Posted by Scott On October - 13 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

The Dec/Jan 2018 issue of Canadian Woodworking has a fresh new look.  Publishers Linda and Paul Fulcher commissioned K9 Strategy + Design to assist with the project.

Norm Lourenco, Creative Director at K9 Strategy + Design said this:

“Our main goal with this project was to develop a masthead logo/wordmark that would stand out against its competitors – a challenge when working with long titles. We worked hard to find the right balance that would accommodate the variety of different sized projects that are regularly featured on the cover and at the same time allow the masthead to stand out.”

Here’s what Publisher Linda Fulcher has to say about the magazine and the re-design:

“Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement Magazine was awarded Magazine of the Year in 2017 by the CMC for outstanding circulation growth, and is continuing to expand its presence on the newsstand with the addition of over 1,000 stores for the DecJan 2018 issue.

The brand is celebrating the newsstand growth with a redesign to the cover that will present a cleaner bolder logo. The new logo reflects the brand’s ongoing commitment to the primary woodworking focus and highlights the new home improvement editorial and advertising content.

The redesign is in concert with a recent editorial survey indicating high reader satisfaction with the woodworking content and revealing that interest in home improvement DIY projects has grown from 36% in 2008 to 67% in 2016.

The magazine recently added 8 pages to include the expanded home improvement content while still maintaining the number of pages dedicated to its core woodworking focus.

In addition, Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement has expanded the trim size from  8.125 x 10.625 to 8.625 x 10.875!  That’s a 1/2 inch more space to feature photos and illustrations for the woodworking and home improvement projects. The expanded trim size will also provide advertisers with more room to feature products and services.”

  • Over the past five years, the brand has seen growth year-over-year in advertising revenues, editorial content, and has doubled both circulation revenues and website traffic.
  • 11 of the past 12 issues have posted newsstand sales gains.  Up 49% in 2016.  Up another 22% in the first half of 2017.
  • With the expanded newsstand presence, bolder logo and larger format, the publication is positioned to enjoy continued growth in 2018.
  • The cover price is being raised from $5.95 to $6.97, an increase of 17%.

Some Recent Issues before the Re-Design:

 

Canadian Running Dazzles

Posted by Scott On October - 5 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

The Nov/Dec 2017 issue of Canadian Running is one to watch.  It goes on sale October 30th, 2017.

The “travel” themed cover is packed with benefit-oriented sell lines.  Good use of devices such as starburst and + sign.

The clean blue background and warm red logo work well together to create a vibrant, energetic feel.

 

SI gets into Politics

Posted by Scott On September - 27 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

The latest issue of Sports Illustrated has gotten into politics.   I give SI credit for not shying away from controversy…controversy typically helps sell magazines.  Therefore, it deserves to be the Cover of the Week.

However, I’m just not sure the gamble is going to pay off for Sports Illustrated this time on newsstands, in the USA, although it probably will here in Canada.

Courting controversy comes with risk.  I guess SI doesn’t care that ESPN’s ratings have been cratering as they have become increasingly embroiled in politics.  And that NFL ratings have been tanking too, starting last year when Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49rs, started his personal “protest” by not standing for the flag and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.  (Note 1:  Colin was protesting racial injustice in the USA, in case you missed that part). (Note 2:  The First Amendment enshrines and protects his right to Free Speech).  (Note 3:  The NFL’s Official Operations Manual strictly prescribes what is required of all players with respect to the National Anthem…and it requires standing).

Here’s what the NFL’s Official Operations Manual says regarding the National Anthem:

“The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.
During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”

So far, there has been no “discipline, such as fines, suspensions and/or the forfeiture of draft choices for violations.”

Things weren’t going well for Colin last year, who earned $14 million dollars (that part is good) but whose team ended the 2016 season in last place in the NFC West, with just 2 wins and 14 losses (not so good).  He then opted out of the last year of his contract (not too smart), to become a free agent.  And like Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, Colin discovered that there were no takers.   The problem for Colin was that, unlike the Blue Jays, San Francisco didn’t take him back.

Spike Lee (Film Maker) waded into it, claiming all the NFL owners were racists and cowards for not offering Colin a job.  Since Spike has never played, or coached, or owned a football team, most people ignored him.

But then things got better for Colin (and Spike), when Donald Trump decided to make an issue out of it at a recent pep rally in Alabama. Now, all hell has broken loose.  It’s gotten very entertaining indeed.

Negative reaction to the cover came swiftly, from both sides of the debate.

Twitter lit up , many complaining:  Why is Colin Kaepernick not on the cover?  Good question.  Which forced SI to come out with a video to defend the cover.  See URL below:

https://www.si.com/sports-illustrated/video/2017/09/26/sports-illustrated-sports-united-cover-explanation

If you listen to the interview with Executive Editor Steve Canella, apparently, Colin is on the cover even though he is not.  “Even though his picture isn’t there, Colin Kaepernick is there.”

Really?  I see LeBron James (NBA).   I see Steph Curry (NBA).   I see Roger Goodell (NFL Comish) , who has been harshly criticized for not supporting the protest in the league he runs.

Perhaps the sad truth is:  Sports Illustrated didn’t have the guts to put Colin on the cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild About Harry

Posted by Scott On September - 22 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

The October 2017 issue of Vanity Fair is the Cover of the Week.

For fans of the popular Netflix show Suits, this cover will be irresistible.  Ditto for Royal Family addicts.  The local Toronto actress is sure to help them sell lots of magazines.

And a tip of the cap to Graydon Carter, Editor, who announced his retirement.  Congratulations on a remarkable career.

 

 

Bad Week For RollingStone

Posted by Scott On September - 21 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

On Sunday, September 17th, Jenn Wenner announced that he was putting his remaining shares in the iconic American brand RollingStone up for sale.  Then, on Tuesday, September 19th, an Appeals Court, overturned a lower court ruling, regarding the infamous Rape On Campus story.   According to the NY Times:

On Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan ruled that a lower court had erred in dismissing a defamation lawsuit filed by three former members of the fraternity at the center of the 2014 article. In the earlier decision, a judge ruled that the three men — George Elias IV, Ross Fowler and Stephen Hadford — had not shown that the article was “of and concerning” them personally, apart from the fraternity…But in their decision, a panel of appellate judges wrote that “while it is a close call,” the district judge was incorrect when it came to two of the men, Mr. Elias and Mr. Fowler, and sent the case back to the district court for further proceedings.

If you have been following the story, RollingStone has already been forced to settle two other cases as a result of the Fake News story, resulting in payouts of nearly $5 million dollars.  And imagine the legal expenses that were incurred over the years fighting a losing battle.  The Columbia Review of Journalism completely debunked the story.  And now RollingStone is facing additional costs to defend themselves in two more defamation suits brought by the Fraternity brothers who were implicated by the article.

There has been much speculation that the costs involved in this case led to the earlier sale of a minority stake in RollingStone.  And perhaps contributed to Wenner’s decision to put the remaining shares up for sale.  Selling this damaged and bleeding brand will certainly be complicated by the revival of these defamation suits.

Here’s a toast to all the Fact Checkers of the world.

 

100 Places to Invest

Posted by Scott On September - 21 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

The Nov/Dec issue of Canadian Real Estate Wealth has been revealed. And it’s scheduled to hit newsstands on October 9th.

Art Director Alicia Chin has created an energetic cover with an incredibly bold and aggressive type treatment.

Bold type treatments have worked for this publication.   Especially when combined with a benefit-oriented sell thrust, a big number to quantify the value proposition, and vibrant colors.

Sky bar and starburst elements in red help direct the eye down the page and triangulate nicely.

 

 

 

Escaping America

Posted by Scott On September - 15 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

The October 2017 issue of the Walrus is the Cover of the Week.

This grainy black and white cover shot, of what appears to be a terrified and desperate soul fleeing the United States, is compelling.

The headline:  Escaping America…is Canada really a safe haven? is emotionally charged.

The image and the words work in tandem extremely effectively.

The Walrus clearly understands its American-hating audience and how to motivate them to action.  The cover feature is lengthy and well written, a good read.

 

Closer, the French gossip magazine, lost a court battle in France yesterday regarding photos showing the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middelton, topless.  The court ordered the defendants to pay damages to the duchess and her husband Prince William, however, the amount was significantly less than the royal family had requested.  They were seeking 1.5 million Euros.

The court ruled that three photographers, and three newspaper executives, invaded the privacy of the duchess, formerly known as Kate Middleton, by taking and publishing the photos.

Two executives of Closer magazine were slapped with the maximum 45,000 euro fine, plus the two executives, along with two photographers working with a celebrity photo agency, were collectively ordered to pay an additional 50,000 euros in damages to Kate and the same amount to William to boot.

The magazine was reported to be a sellout, according to reports from overseas.

 

New Yorker’s 92nd Anniversary Issue

Posted by Scott On August - 25 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

Back in February of this year, I posted the New Yorker’s  92nd Anniversary issue as the Cover of the Week. (See original post below).

I promised to report back on how it sold in Canada.  So here it is:  The issue sold 2,889 copies in Canada.  That’s up 1,383 copies from the same time slot last year, a gain of 92%.  It sold 1,065 copies or 58% more than the issue that preceded it, and 918 copies or 47% more than the issue that came after it.  Only 2 issues in 2016 sold more than this one did in early 2017.  Canadians lapped it up.

 

 

The Feb 13th, 2017 issue of the New Yorker is the 92nd  Anniversary issue.

According to their website, the annual anniversary issue “would feature some version of Rea Irvin’s classic image of the monocled dandy Eustace Tilley.”

However, the site goes on to say, “This year, as a response to the opening weeks of the Trump Administration, particularly the executive order on immigration, we feature John W. Tomac’s dark, unwelcoming image, “Liberty’s Flameout.” “It used to be that the Statue of Liberty, and her shining torch, was the vision that welcomed new immigrants. And, at the same time, it was the symbol of American values,” Tomac says. “Now it seems that we are turning off the light.”

It will be interesting to see how this dark, depressing cover sells.  I’m sure it has a good chance of success in New York, New York, and in Hollywood, California, but doubt it will work in the so-called “fly over states” in between.  It will be interesting to see how it sells in Canada.

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About Me

Scott Bullock’s Newsstand Cover Quiz Show is legendary in the industry. Using covers as the catalyst, this interactive and entertaining format is a light-hearted but hard-hitting spin on Packaging 101. Testing the cover savvy of magazine professionals across disciplines, the Quiz Show pits publishers against editors, circulators against art directors, retailers against wholesalers -- ultimately leading to new common ground in the quest for better covers. Scott is the Owner of Circ3, Smart Circulation Solutions, a circulation consultancy. www.circ3.com

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