Your client in selfies with SI swimsuit models
Or hanging with other magazines as part of festivals or special events
February 22, 2016
These days printed copies of magazines are just one portion of a magazine’s brand identity.
They have a presence online, of course, but increasingly magazine brands also hold live out-of-home events as a way to engage with and perhaps even gain new readers.
Last week, for instance, Sports Illustrated held fan fests in New York and Miami to promote its latest swimsuit issue. Models from the issue signed autographs and took selfies with fans.
There are many types of magazine events, including food and wine festivals organized by cooking titles, or city summits hosted by political or news magazines.
All include opportunities for outside advertisers to participate as well.
To find out how to get your client at a magazine live event, read on.
This is one in a Media Life series on buying out-of-home venues. They appear weekly.
Advertising and sponsorship at magazine live events.
Marketing teams at publishing companies and individual magazine organize events and work with sponsors.
How it works
Many different types of magazines hold live events each year.
SI has its swimsuit fan fests, Food and Wine hosts a number of food festivals, The Atlantic hosts leadership summits and conferences, Bon Appétit hosts pub crawls, Wired magazine hosts tech conferences, and so on.
Publishing companies work with advertisers to figure out the best way for them to be involved with the event.
One of the most basic opportunities is to set up a booth or display where they can interact with attendees. Think of a snack brand passing out samples at a booth while at a festival hosted by Food and Wine magazine.
Advertisers can also get more creative.
For example, at Sports Illustrated’s SI Swimsuit fan festivals last week, the razor brand Schick set up a Schick Hydro Barbershop, where guys could get free shaves, including the chance to get a shave from an SI swimsuit model.
Lexus set up a luxury social lounge, while Lane Bryant sponsored an area where fans could take photos and share them on social media.
Many events are held in larger markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami, but they can be executed in any major market.
Magazines can also organize tours that hit multiple markets across the country, such as Backpacker Magazine’s Get Out More Tour.
Numbers vary by event.
For example, each Country Living Fair features more than 200 vendors from more than 25 states, and draws more than 20,000 visitors from across the country.
How it is measured
Magazines track how many people attend events, and advertisers can also track things such as how many samples are distributed.
What product categories work well
Recent or current magazine event advertisers include auto, consumer packaged goods, food products, retail, apparel and electronics.
Demographics vary, but advertisers can target specific events based on a magazine’s target audience.
For example, an advertiser could target women at a Country Living Fair, or they could target foodies at a Bon Appétit Grub Crawl.
Making the buy
Lead time varies. A simple presence at an event could be planned in a few weeks or months, while a larger sponsorship presence could take a year or more.
Pricing also varies, based on the event and the size of the sponsorship. A large presence could cost as much as six figures.
Pricing may also be worked into a greater advertising deal that also includes print and digital ads.
Who’s already at magazine events
Current or recent advertisers that have been at magazine events include Schick, Lane Bryant, Lexus, Smith & Forge, Ford, Jelly Belly, Kikkoman and Uber.
What they’re saying
“There is definitely an assurance to the brand that the consumers who attend the event are already engaged with the magazine and are fans of the content. That authority, trust and excitement creates a positive rub off for the sponsors,” says one publisher.
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