Top 5 in August: Monthlies Take to the Sea for Refuge

By Greer Jonas

It is a dank and dreary August for magazine advertising (the monthlies were cumulatively -7.42% versus August 2010). More than half (100 out of 152 to be exact) of the monthly magazines we track at min  were down.

But not so for the top 5 mags highlighted based on ad-page gains. All five–Power & Motoryacht, Ladies Home Journal, Travel + Leisure, Reader’s Digest and Condé Nast Traveler–showed innovative features that drove their magazine to new advertisers and readers.

1) Power & Motoryacht

PMY‘s annual World’s 100 Largest Yachts issue is always a favorite feature for both readers and advertisers and this August showed 22.18 additional ad pages (+26.10%) over the 2010 issue.  Associate publisher Cindy Sailor tells min that much of the success is due to parent company Source Interlink’s concerted investment in the brand to improve editorial content. "Those upgrades include a dynamic magazine redesign, upgraded paper quality and increased editorial coverage of all segments of the large powerboat market," says Sailor.

"A cohesive sales and marketing strategy that is both client- and solution-driven" is also a factor. Some of the advertisers in the August mix were Intrepid, Maestro & Sarnico Yachts, Feadship, Lurssen, Abeking & Rasmussen and Benetti.

2) Ladies’ Home Journal

Meredith’s LHJ  took second place in our summer’s top 5 with 18.98 additional ad pages (+26.10%) compared with August 2010. Publisher Julie Pinkwater tells min: "The theme of this issue is ‘Real Beauty,’ with a focus on feeling confident at any age. This message truly resonated with beauty advertisers and we’re thrilled that Cover Girl, Olay, L’Oréal, Clairol, DERMAdoctor, Aveeno, OPI, Bodycology, and Neutragena are all part of August."

3) Travel + Leisure

Another’ popular feature is T+L‘s World’s Best Awards issue.  August had 17.34 additional ad pages in 2011 (+19.10%) compared to 2010.  "We’ve also got a good halo effect from our upcoming first-ever T+L Global Bazaar in September, a one-of-a-kind experience that will transport consumers around the world — think Singapore to Chile," says T+L vp/publisher Jean-Paul Kyrillos. The September event at New York’s Park Avenue Armory coincides with the travel mag’s 40th anniversary. American Express and Delta Air Lines are the presenting sponsors.

4) Reader’s Digest

The success of Reader’s Digest‘s August 2011 issue (15.95 additional ad pages and a 30.25% gain versus Aug. 2011) illustrates RD‘s brand strategy of "returning to its roots," says president/North America Dan Lagani.  RD‘s achievement is due to "the expertly curated content and the multi-platform brand sales approach being led by North America chief sales officer Mark Josephson and his team."

In addition to doing integrated programs with Clorox that included print, digital and iPad, and his team also earned advertising from new brands like the Nook eReader from Barnes and Noble.

5) Condé Nast Traveler

An entire issue focusing on a cruise theme resulted in CN Traveler‘s +26.43% August (14.88 additional ad pages).  "A round up of the best new ships, a photo feature on beautiful ports of call, even our back pages, the iconic Room With A View, featured a cruise cabin’s porthole window," said VP/publisher Chris Mitchell.  "Ad-wise, we had great momentum from our cruise advertisers, including a big insert from NCL, and an onsert from Oceania." Some of the new advertisers included LAN Airlines, Ecuador, MasterCard, Chanel, Citibank, Acura, Botox and Amazon.

Mitchell appointed Peter Zuckerman as the unofficial "guest publisher" for August,  and he praised Zuckerman for taking a leadership role in the project and really "nailing it" with his knowledge of the cruise industry and working with international sales and marketing staff to create such a successful issue.

Greer Jonas is managing editor of min.