Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Flashing cover to get Esquire some attention

“Magazines have basically looked the same for 150 years. I have been frustrated with the lack of forward movement in the magazine industry.”
-- David Granger, Esquire editor-in-chief
Yes, it will flash. And undoubtedly, as the first to do so, the September issue of Esquire with its electronic cover powered by a tiny flat battery, will wind up as a collector's item. And, just as the first holographic cover and the first 3-D cover and the first scratch-and-sniff, die-cut, pop-up cover, it will be a much talked-about gimmick. But one has to wonder whether all the effort and cost (components are manufactured in China and each cover is assembled by hand) might better have been directed into better, more engaging content, investigative reporting and design.

Now celebrating its 75th year, the magazine will produce 100,000 copies of the flashing cover (with the rather mundane message: The 21st Century Begins Now). This amounts to somewhat less than 1/7th of its circ (good luck on getting one on a Canadian newsstand) but in order to do so it has had to strike a special advertising deal. The backside of the cover will have a flashing ad for Ford Motor Company's new mini-van sport utility vehicle the Flex, powered by the same specially produced little battery.

The company that produced the cover is a private company based in Cambridge, Mass., partly owned by Hearst Inc., Esquire's parent. E Ink's technology is used in Amazon.com’s e-book device, the Kindle.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

One wonders whether the flashing light--as exhibited on both front cover and in RC ad--would contravene the Canadian Magazine Industry Advertising-Editorial Guidelines. Seems like yes.

2:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an environmental nightmare!!

5:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


There's so much whining on this blog...these guys are trying to stay at the top of the magazine business. Good for them...and writers.

2:40 pm  

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