Bonnier’s Popular Science is taking the venerable sell sheet one step further by including a video of the magazine’s editor-in-chief Jacob Ward describing the upcoming issue’s content highlights, marrying that with the magazine’s pertinent demos. The sales team uses the video as an email enticement or brings it on a live sales call to add a dash of editorial celebrity when Ward himself can’t come along.

The idea came to Michael Gallic, associate publisher, marketing, the technology group, as Ward was taping his customary video introduction for the magazine’s tablet version. Why not just ask Ward to hang around for another five or ten minutes to create a 90-second highlight reel of the upcoming issue? The first video sell sheet was created at the end of last year for the January/February issue.

"We’re always looking for new ways to help the reps to get to the advertisers," says Gallic. "The standard way is the issue sell sheet—a PDF which gives an overview and relevant statistics, but in the video you’re hearing about the content live from the editor and you can see the stats pop up. He’s an engaging, personable guy who brings the editorial to life. Who better to hear what the issue is about than the editor himself?"

While they may not actually win the sale, anecdotally Gallic says the videos have been useful hooks to get the brand noticed. "The face-to-face calls are more difficult to get, but these video sell sheets are not only helping getting the call but getting the call back."

The team uses Adobe’s After Effects to edit the videos, and Gallic adds that, with a slightly different content spin, they’re morphing into a useful consumer marketing tool as well—particularly as a newsstand driver. "We’ll run them on the website to drive people to newsstand. They’re taking on a life of their own," he says.

Here’s a video of Ward highlighting the upcoming May issue: