Friday, November 18, 2005

Mags on TV: when the magic doesn't work

Coup de Pouce (the French arm of Transcontinental's Canadian Living magazine) has found that the crossover to television can be fraught, according to a recent article in Marketing magazine. Writer Danny Kucharsky contrasted Coup de Pouce's lagging performance in its second venture onto the small screen with the success of such magazine shows branded by Canadian House & Home and Clin d'oeil. Apparently, this TV thing isn't as easy as it looks, even for a magazine with the kind of market penetration and brand recognition of Coup de Pouce (which has a readership of 1.4 million, according to PMB 2005).

Transcontinental Media president André Préfontaine said the television venture, launched on Radio-Canada in September, "(is) part of our strategy to extend our brands and deliver our content on a 'multi-channel' platform by establishing partnerships with companies who are experts in their fields. This program will be a highly useful and interesting supplement for our readers and advertisers."

The Coup de Pouce TV show is broadcast Monday to Friday at 9 a.m., hosted by Elaine Ayotte. The show features advice from various segment hosts. For instance, a fashion and beauty segment is fronted by eTalk Daily's Sophie Grégoire, who recently married to Justin Trudeau.

Noting that the magazine tried once before, in 2002, with a show on Canal Vie that drew 17,000 viewers, the Marketing article said:

While it was expected the show would be beaten by popular TVA show Deux filles le matin, it's actually being trounced. In its debut episode on Labour Day, Coup de Pouce had 57,000 viewers, far behind the 380,000 viewers who tuned in for Deux filles le matin. The show is now averaging 54,000 viewers, even less than the 87,000 viewers for the Radio-Canada morning show C'est dans l'air, which Ayotte hosted last year.

Caroline Gagnon of the ad agency Marketel compared the readership and viewership profiles of Coup de Pouce magazine and TV and found the news is even worse. There are "flagrant differences," with 51% of the TV show's viewers age 60 and over, far older than the magazine's readership. The article went on:

For advertisers seeking to integrate content to a greater extent, the potential for integration would seem high, at least in theory, says Gagnon. But the numbers don't follow. "It's uninteresting and inappropriate to conduct an integration program in the magazine. It's not strategic to do a follow-up on the TV show when you look at the profile they'll obtain. The link between print and broadcast is just not happening."
Things look better for the TV version of Clin d'Oeil magazine, which has been running on TVA at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for the past few summers. (It wrapped up this year at the end of August.) Last summer, an average of 605,000 people watched the TV show, while the magazine has a circulation of 885,000.

But once again the profile of the magazines and TV show aren't in synch. The magazine's readership is mostly young-it's strong with both the 18 to 49 and 12 to 24-year-old age groups-while some 80% of the viewers are 35 and older.


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