Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Best Doctors

Posted by admin On February - 13 - 2014

The March 2014 issue of Toronto Life made me smile.  Back in the day when I was the circulation director at Toronto Life, the editorial team didn’t think that a Best Doctors service journalism cover feature would work.  The reasoning had something to do with the fact that the American health care system was for profit vs. the Canadian model which was quite different.  I never understood why we didn’t just test that theory by trying it once to find out for sure.

It was odd, given that the data was extremely conclusive that all the U.S. cities magazines were selling big numbers using this theme.  In fact, it was the number one theme for most.   And, given that we took authoritative positions on the best of everything else, I was always left with the feeling that the reluctance to do so with respect to doctors was political, rather than practical.  But that was then and this is now…

Here’s what the Art Director Christine Dewairy had to say about this cover:

“Often, the first thing people think about when they see medical stories is illness, death or tragedy—total downers. So the challenge with our March Best Doctors cover was to present the idea in a fun and positive way, celebrating the city’s fantastically talented physicians and the incredible work they do. We used a  get-well teddy bear, brought to life and being lifted upward as the central image to conjure healing, and designed the headline to be big, bold and immediate, with secondary sells that are almost as loud and lively. Together, the type and image convey a good news story, and the balloon copy (“How to Get Well Soon”) extends the conceit while underscoring the service element of the package.”

This cover keeps it simple.  It’s a classic service-oriented feature story played up with large and bold type.  Perfect.  Compare this to other city magazines shown below.

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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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