Publishers are quickly finding that large, customized packages that take advantage of editorial and interactive features can not only outperform standard display and banner ads but put the publisher in a position to demand minimum commitments from marketers who are only too willing to buy the right cross-platform package.
Newsweek's executive vice president and worldwide publisher Greg Osberg says, however, that by taking this route the business side can be considerably more successful by partnering with the edit side. By following the normal progression of editorial projects, the sales team can identify opportunities to bolt on elements that can be sold.
Osberg points to an ad/edit partnership that developed an integrated package sponsored by investment advisors Fidelity, which is using Paul McCartney as a spokesman to target baby-boomers. Editors had been planning a November 14 cover story on baby-boomers which Osberg's staff recognized as a perfect tie-in for Fidelity's marketing. "We knew that was coming up and then we found out what Fidelity's objectives were as a marketer. We decided to launch a campaign as a cover package with a double-page gatefold that had a 44-question quiz about the history of baby-boomers inside," says Osberg.
The quiz also ran online, integrating video and audio elements, fulfilling Fidelity's cross-platform requirement. The feature was one of the Web site's most successful draws, bringing in 200,000 visitors. It also needed edit's creative input. "Fidelity was looking for something cross-platform," says Osberg. "Knowing that, the editorial side created this quiz concept. The editors are the experts of what readers engage with. They're in tune with what's driving our readership and our traffic."
Fidelity ended up taking a schedule in the magazine and has committed to an ongoing sponsorship into 2006. "Clearly, for these ideas there will always be a minimum print commitment to get involved versus selling a single page," says Osberg. "On the online side, it will draw a higher CPM because it's a sponsored experience versus just buying banners and buttons."