Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Lady Gaga Cover

Posted by Scott On October - 9 - 2010

On June 26th I posted the Lady Gaga cover as the Cover of the Week.

My motivation was simple. RollingStone had published the Obama’s General story on-line, a full week before printed copies were available for purchase at newsstands. The story went viral, and within a week, the General had resigned/been fired.  The story was over before it was even delivered to newsstands.

What a perfect experiment to test the theory about Rule # 6:  Be Controversial:  which generates free publicity and marketing buzz you simply can’t buy at any price.

Clearly, the editorial and art teams didn’t expect much newsstand pull on Obama’s General as a major selling hook:  note the placement well down the real estate hierarchy grid and the rather small point size to the sell line.

According to Magnet information from the United States (which looks at point of scan data from high volume retailers) the Lady Gaga issue sold 70% more copies than the Jonas Brothers cover  from the same time slot in Summer 2009.  The Summer slot has a 1 month selling window as opposed to the usual 2 week cycle.  With that said, the Lady Gaga issue sold 194% more copies compared to the 52-week average for RollingStone.  This issue was a runaway winner.  Final Sales will eventually be posted by ABC.

Apparently people still like to read magazines purchased at newsstands, even if the inflammatory content is a week old.  It didn’t hurt that the cover is fantastic in every other way too, of course.

One Response to “Lady Gaga Cover”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Elinor Schindel and Elinor Schindel, Elinor Schindel. Elinor Schindel said: Scott Bullock looks back on Gaga's July Rolling Stone cover – testing controversy […]

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About Me

Scott Bullock is a veteran circulation expert with over 38 years experience in both Canada and the United States. He has worked on trade titles such as Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal and Small Press in the USA. In consumer magazines, Scott was the Circulation Director for D Magazine (the city magazine of Dallas, Texas), and in Canada he was the Circulation Director for Toronto Life, Fashion, and Canadian Art. From 2000 to 2004, Scott was a partner at Coast to Coast Newsstand Services. Scott has also held the post of VP Sales & Marketing, for CDS Global, Canada. Currently, CoversSell.Com is Scott’s circulation consultancy. Active clients include: Fly Fusion, Canadian Geographic, Canadian House & Home, Canada’s History, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Canadian Woodworking, Canadian Cycling, Canadian Running, Canadian Scrapbooker, Legion, Harrowsmith, SkyNews, and SuperTrax.



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