October 30, 2001 Volume 1 Issue 23
Television created the word. Information and commercials come together into one, a single unit. Thus ... infomercial.
If you've lived on earth anytime since the '60's you've seen at least a piece of one. During black/white television days the first such programs were very unscripted. Frequently the voice was a barker from the county fair. Just "talking" a product. One of the most famous is the Santa Claus shaped gentlemen selling the veg-a-matic ... a device for chopping, dicing, slicing and cutting your vegetables every which way from Sunday.
Mail-order I like. Because I do not care to shop. Plus, I'm a marketing guy. Goes way back. Yet, I must confess I've never watch more than a minute or two of any infomercial. Which is not a surprise if you know me at all ... I don't watch the shopping networks, either. It's not that I dislike them - I dislike shopping.
Catalogs I do like. And specialty magazines. Vertical magazines and newsletters with a specific target message, and an equally identifiable audience. Custom news and information magazines offer this service, too. They take a subject, personalize it to an industry and sell it to a company who wants to reach a target audience with a target message.
This works for me, too, because I enjoy reading. And now I've a new way to learn about products, and read at the same time. It's the television infomercial in a magazine format.
Are these magazines magazines, or are the advertisements? The answer is a clear and strong "yes". There is a new name bouncing around ... admazines. Fine. Whatever. Bottom line is these are magazines. They have articles and news and information about a topic, subject, issue. With a slant, because there is a sponsor - a paying corporate advertiser. So, it's easy; they are both. A magazine. And an advertisement.
Not sure who started this trend - my guess is the tobacco companies. When the USA congress made it nearly impossible for them to do anything except grow the product legally ... and everything else was illegal, they went to self-publishing custom magazines. They have been very successful doing so. Reaching their audience of smokers with a wide variety of messages ... interesting, varied and legal.
Today what began as a defensive weapon is now an offensive tool. Why do companies such as the Ford Motor Company, Kodak, Coca-Cola and Nike publish and distribute their own paper publication? When they could post it all online for much, much less out of pocket cost.
The answers are many. One is they have total control over the content AND (this is big!) distribution. You and I may find their web site and the message they're sharing this month. And we may not. With the magazine mailed to me, because of something I did or bought or asked, I will get it. i.e., they get there message, in total, to their audience of owners and buyers.
Another benefit to having your own in-house promotional magazine is your suppliers, partners and associates help pay for it. I haven't seen the new Ford custom book - No Boundaries - yet I'll bet good money there are stories and ads from tire manufactures to sun-roof aftermarket installers. From a music distributor offering CD's at a special rate only to readers, to a cell-phone with a global positioning option. From a pizza delivery service to an international travel service agency.
NIKEgoddess has a book to reach women. Because their image is so macho, their spokesmen are just that - men. They feel they have a product collection women will enjoy - the magazine is the marketing tool. Nike even has a women's communication manager, Rory Rubin. "We were very choppy in our communication with women. We saw a need for a magazine that combined lifestyle, fitness and sports", says Rubin. So, Nike created their own. Distribution is by mail to customers, at Niketown stores, and other retailers who sell a lot of Nike gear.
Coca-Cola has a magazine with a New York theme ... NYCene. With stories written by young people of the City. About the "boros" of New York City, from Harlem, from Madison Square Garden, about music and shows and sports and things to do in the "Big Apple". Things to do where you just might decide to down a Coke. They have gone very soft sell - with a single ad on the outside back cover.
Kodak sells their Everyday Photos custom magazine. The quarterly is available at super market check-out stands - aimed at families. Primarily moms. Because most often it is the lady of the house who makes certain there are pixs of the kids.
So, can these highly specialized publications make it with 17,000 other consumer magazines out there? Probably - because each has a target audience. Companies know what it takes to get a customer. The custom magazine is a way to keep them. It offers a dialogue with customers in a special sort of way, not available any other way with print.
Today it is more than selling a product or service. The customer expects more. A custom designed and delivered magazine, with an interesting array of stories and news is a good way to achieve several marketing objectives:
I'd say they're here to stay - Infomercial Magazines.
It's fun to market fun stuff. Like decorations and costumes and Jack-O-'Lanterns for Halloween.
Johnson Smith is a mail-order company out of Florida. They have
an extensive catalog, and a great company slogan;
Their catalog is filled with scores of special Halloween items. Like a Bates Motel sign. A life-size Ghastly Greeter. "Bleeding" Bones Candles. A Talking Electric Chair. Pages and pages and pages of Masks. Scores of Ghoulish Goblets. And a large handful of theatrical special effects, to help you with your make-up for the big party.
In fact, if you want anything "theater" they've got it. For any theme party or special event. To learn more, visit their web site at www.johnson-smith.com ... E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ... or phone 1+800+853-9490.
Each E-zine includes a quote from the world's most famous philosopher ... Anonymous.
Here is my choice for this week, lifted from a Korean saying;
"Even a sheet of paper is lighter when two people lift it."
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
The Joy of Change
We have a new telephone area code: 928.
Which means just about everything we own must be changed. At no small expense, either. So be it.
The 928 number is now active ... and so is the old 520. The old is scheduled to hang around until the end of 2001 ... and then disappear.
What is also disappearing is our old fax number. With E-mail fulfilling so many options, we've decided to offer only a single fax number; +1+928+244-6148
If you'd like to update all your records now, all of our current info is near the bottom of this page.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.