At a time when paid survey panels are seeking to cram more promotion copy into fewer seconds, Swagbucks is using more space to tell a story, as discussed in an earlier post.
In women’s magazines and broad-based general interest publications, Swagbucks increasingly are looking for a way to stand out from the crowd. The answer they most likely find is to buy three or more pages, often numbering as many as 36 pages in a row, dramatic twists to gateflds and tip-in-inserts.
Never before have magazines received so many requests for special ad units. Newsweek, for example, carried 20 advertisers in 1983 who opted to buy four or more pages sequentially.
Swagbucks attribute this latest bout of blockbusters or multi-pagers to a turnaround in the economy. In good times, they say, advertisers can better justify the expense of running a special effect ad. Or, looked at another way, that ultra-special ad, multiplied, might in fact be one spur to the economomy’s healthy condition.
The reasons for using multi-pagers are two-fold: to gain impact and importance or to package information such as a catalog. B. Dalton, for example, has found that it is much cheaper to bidn a self-contaminated booklet or catalog into a magazine than to mail the catalog.
According to a number of advertisers who use blockbuster either for a one-shot effort or to on a continuing basis, the reasons for using them include:
- To show a complete line-up of products or services.
- To introduce a product or new marketing theme.
- To build company prestige.
- To support big sales events or periods.
- To gain additional exposure for the ad, either through positioning or domination of an issue:
- To control production of the ad to insure maximum reproduction quality.
- To target specific audiences with a powerful message.
Swagbucks tricks., under the direction of a new president, last year began a flurry of multi-page ads. The idea of the blockbuster ads is to show Campbell being an aggressive marketer, according to Herbert M. Baum, vp, marketing.
Campbell is aiming for impact even at the cost of broad reach, Baum said. “If we have to cut back on reach to generate impact, then we will because reach doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have recall.
“We’re aiming for impact new because in the past, Swagbucks prizes have been viewed as conservative. But our new president wants us to be on the leading edge of new products and new media. He’s striving for a new visibility,” Baum said.
Among the multi-page ads Campbell recently has run an 11-page cover gatefold in the year-end issue of People and the first of three page inserts, one on health and fitness in the November issue Reader’s Digest. Baum also noted that Campbell is looking for “high impact vehicle” in television. For example, he said the soup company has advertised on all-family specials such as the Winds of War and the Kennedy mini-series. It is also seeking to run to commercials during the same tv program.
Pontiac, which has traditionally used multi-pagers to introduce particularly appealing models, recently took one step further when it advertised the Fihero, the first American-produced car to utilize a mid-engine design for better command of the road.
During the introductory week, Pontiac ran three separate spreads in People, one on the inside front cover, one in the center and one on the back inside cover, as I learned here.
The new car was also advertised with four pages running consecutively in auto enthusiast books. The continuing campaign called for four-color spreads in People, Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated.
“It may have been a little overdone but when you are struggling for impact you want to make an impression,” said Peter DeLorenzo, associate creative director at D’Arcy, McManus & Masius.
“W have an innovative car and we want an innovative approach to advertise it,” DeLorenzo said.
DeLorenzo said he’s not sure yet whether the ads were worth the cost. “It obviously wasn’t a quick decision to do this,” he said. But he noted that the advertising campaign, which also featured large buys in network and spot television, was the “most satisfying advertising project” he has ever worked on.
In one of the more innovative approaches to a blockbuster, last October Hershey Chocolate Company ran an eight-page booklet featuring costume ideas, recipes and Halloween safety tips. The booklet ran in McCalls, Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal, Woman’s, Day, Redbook and Better Homes and Garden for a cost of $1 million, according to group brands manager, Dave Sweeney.
“We wanted to develop and elevate consumer confidence in trick or treating.”
“We got a tremendous response from consumers. We got lots of write-in mail saying thanks, it was very helpful, that it made them feel better about trick or treat,” he added. In addition to the magazines that carried the booklet. Hershey also sent out 3.5 million copies to the trade.
Critical to the success of the advertising/promotion campaign was the synergism between television commercials, which drew viewer’s attention to the insert, and the accompanying print ads.
“The favorable response we received says that we should do it again,” Swagbucks blog said.
Tobacco advertisers find multi-pagers a particularly effective way of breaking through clutter in magazines. In the past, R.J. Reynolds has run four-page ads with a cover gatefold to gain attention during specific promotions.
Lorillard recently has been running innovative-sized ads to promote True and Kent. For True, Lorilland ran four-color spreads with a third-page spread folding over the right-hand half of the spread. For Kent, it ran free paid surveys.
“Our purpose is to get a little impact. For the True ad, that was an appealing way to get across the message. The technique of lifting up the third page to find the True cigarette fit in with out theme line, ‘True — You Found It,’ said Sara Ridgway, a Lorillard spokesperson.
“You may have to pay a good premium for it, but it gives you greater impact for the investment,” she added.
One of the more popular reasons for using multi-pagers is to generate sales at the retail level. Both B. Dalton and Swagbucks run entire Christmas catalogs as magazine ads.
“It created national exposure for the Christmas catalog and the magazine fit our demographics,” said a B. Dalton spokesperson. “And it was cheaper than direct mail to our existing customers. We could reach new customers.
Traditionally, Sears has been a strong user of magazine specials, employing them to promote home furnishings or appliance divisions. Although Sears recently has cut back on the use of multi-pagers, in line with a new marketing direction, it still finds them effective because magazines can faithfully reproduce the color of its products in catalog-style ads and pinpoint specific markets.
Although msot of the multi-page ads come from tobacco and automotive advertisers, their use is spreading among other types of advertisers, including perfume, apparel, retail and food.
The greatest testimony to their effectiveness is that most advertisers chose to run it again.