Top 10 Monthlies of 2011: When Advertisers Follow Fashion

By Greer Jonas

Let’s talk about the good news first. It seems like ad-page gainers for such fashion magazines as Time Inc.’s People StyleWatch (1,306 January -December ad pages), Condé Nast’s Vogue (2,514) and Time Inc.’s InStyle (2,547) had the formula for print advertising success in this year’s unsteady economy. The other seven magazine boxscore winners in our top 10 chart: Source Interlink’s  Power & Motoryacht, Time Inc,’s People en Español, Competitor Group’s Competitor, Emmis’ Texas Monthly, RDA’s Reader’s Digest, Hearst Magazines’ Esquire and Mariah Media Inc.’s Outside carried more than 100 extra ad-pages in 2011 compared to 2010.

Unfortunately, of the 152 monthly magazines we track at min, only 59 had a positive percentage year-end differential and the total sum of all the magazines produced a -2.58% differential.  In 2010, 99 mags were up with a then-hopeful +4.22%.

Take a look at min’s premium January-December 2011 chart and analysis to get the full skinny.

The monthlies’ first 2012 indicator will be the January boxscores in the December 19 min.

Here are our top 10 monthlies and their success stories.

1) People StyleWatch

StyleWatch has continually shown ad-page gains since its conception in 2007. Says promoted-in-October 2011 publisher Stephanie Sladkus: "This year, we’ve seen tremendous growth from fashion, retail and prestige beauty. As we enter our sixth year as a monthly, the continued success of the magazine is a nod to the editorial relevance for both our consumers and our advertisers.”

2) Power & Motoryacht

With an additional 246 pages in 2011 compared to 2010, Power & Motoryacht, led by associate publisher Cindy Sailor, has been successfully showing that the high-end luxury market is advertiser and reader friendly. "In the past year PMY has made significant investments in our print and digital portfolio of products, and we have been very proactive with our customers to provide integrated marketing solutions. This coupled with our award winning editorial have proven to be a successful formula driving this market rebound,"  says Sailor.

3) People en Español

The Spanish-language magazine, lead by appointed-in-May 2011 publisher Monique Manso  has been in our top 5 all year. Its year-end 2011 ad-page gain is 228. "Key categories like beauty and retail continued to be very strong for us," says Manso. "But we really built our momentum from the moment we started celebrating our 15th anniversary. In fact, our October celebratory issue was our biggest ever. In November, we amplified our 25 Most Influential Women editorial franchise by creating excitement with consumer online voting for the most notable women making an impact on community. For 2012, we’ll be gearing up to have another outstanding year as we’ll launch new franchises and see some existing advertising programs really branch out."

4) Competitor

With an additional 211 ad pages in 2011, CGI editorial director, TJ Murphy tells min that “2011 was all about aggressively speaking to the new and spirited generation of runners and triathletes inhabiting the endurance lifestyle. New advertisers were: Dodge, MillerCoors, Mizuno, Pentax, Nature Sweet."

5) Vogue

Continually appearing in minonline’s   top 5 throughout 2011, Vogue, led by publisher Susan Plagemann (since Jan. 2010) gained 208 ad-pages in 2011. Vogue also took first place in last year’s top 10.

6) Texas Monthly

With an additional 158 ad pages in 2011, publisher Amy Saralegui tells min: “This has been a great year for Texas Monthly, the brand. In addition to print we have put our resources behind digital offerings and large branded events that are unique and Texas-specific. These have provided significant revenue growth and press opportunities." 
  Saralegui notes an increase in spending on both a local and a national level as a result. "While Texas Monthly always enjoys the status of top-performer on newsstand in Texas, the June 2011 issue (pictured left) out-performed all of our other issues (as of October). The travel service cover resonated with our high-income and highly traveled readers."

7) Reader’s Digest

Recently on a panel at our  November 16 Min Day, Reader’s Digest Media North America president Dan Lagani talks about RD’s successful 125 additional ad-page run in 2011. "We took an iconic American brand that had lost its focus and returned it to its roots to give it clarity. We simplified the organization to make it easier for our clients to buy Reader’s Digest across all platforms, and attracted new leadership to bring it all together in the market.”

8) Esquire

Adding 111 additional ad pages to its manly belt in 2011, here’s a comment from Esquire editor-in-chief David Granger (and min’s 2011 Editor and Design Hall of Famer): "This year, we touched all the bases—continued to push the frontiers of print; created not only an extremely entertaining monthly edition for the iPad but also an original game for that device; published a fantastic cookbook for men; and saw the complete flowering of Esquire’s Big Black Book franchise."
                                                                                                 Best newsstand seller of the year through October was Daniel Craig-featured August (cover is pictured right).  In 2012, says Granger, “we are looking forward to really fulfilling the potential of our new franchise, The Americans of the Year," which debuts in the December 2011 issue.

9) InStyle

InStyle Publisher Connie Anne Phillips tells min: “2011 is InStyle’s third consecutive year of ad-page leadership in the fashion category. This success is a direct result of advertiser confidence in the brand’s engaging, ROI-driven marketing programs and its distinct editorial approach, designed to inspire the reader, instruct her and drive her to purchase. The retail, beauty and luxury sectors led our growth, attracting new advertisers such as Dior Fashion, Donna Karan Collection, Hugo Boss and YSL Beauté.” InStyle carried 109 additional ad pages in 2011.

10) Outside

Outside vp/publisher Scott Parmelee tells min about the active-minded magazine’s 108 ad-page gain in 2011. “With budgets tighter than ever advertisers continue to turn to those leading, powerful brands who have successfully distributed their content across as many consumer touch points as possible. Outside’s success has always come from our coveted active lifestyle content and unique market position but in 2011 our momentum was built on our ability to put all our multi-platform assets in play for our partners. Cover-wise, Outside‘s best seller (through October) was clearly the September Dream Jobs issue up 17% from 2010." (pictured right)

For 2012 (Outside’s 35th-anniversary year) Parmelee says: “We will continue to spread the ‘active lifestyle’ gospel by further growing our media assets and bringing new consumers into the Outside fold for our partners to tap into.”

Greer Jonas is managing editor of min.