Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Style at Home was prepared to accept use of edit page for coffee-maker ad

A product placement gimmick in the current issue of Transcontinental Media's Style at Home magazine could have been in other mainstream consumer magazines had they been more willing to tailor their editorial to make it work, according to the advertiser who pulled the idea off.

The ad uses a stitched-in acetate overlay that, when the page is turned, places a Tassimo coffee maker on the counter of an editorial page featuring a kitchen, making it appear that the high-end machine is sitting on the counter. The headline on the acetate says "All this kitchen needs is a countertop café. According to a story (available on to subscribers) in the current issue of Marketing magazine:
The ad is part of an extensive print campaign for the Tassimo machine that also includes customized advertorials in eight other publications, including Toronto Life, Coup de Pouce and Canadian House & Home.

“I think a natural fallback for many advertisers is television, and in this case we strongly believed that the magazine environment would lend itself beautifully to the communication and [create] breakthrough work,” said Lauren Richards, CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group Canada, the agency responsible for the ad. “The equivalent money in TV wouldn’t have had the notoriety and would have been lost in the shuffle.”

The ad is the result of extensive negotiations with Style at Home dating back to April, said Richards. “Others were willing to do it, but we didn’t necessarily have the editorial situation that we thought was going to be perfect for making it work. There was a question of the logistics of actually doing it, the question of willingness to do it, and the question of cost....We’re absolute believers in editorial integrity, and we understand that each [magazine] has to...make decisions on behalf of their readers. Anything we will suggest will respect an appropriate editorial guideline, because we don’t want to do anything that’s going to be tacky, or in your face, or inappropriate, because there’s going to be a backlash for the advertiser.”
Since it was Starcom that brought up editorial integrity and guidelines, let us quote relevant portions of the current Canadian Magazine Industry Advertising-Editorial Guidelines:
  • Adjacency
Advertisements should not be placed immediately before, within or immediately after editorial content that includes mention of the advertised products or services. Exceptions are allowed for listings and contest sponsors.
  • Product Placement
No advertiser may purchase product placement or mention in editorial pages, photographs or illustrations.

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