Top Five Mags’ First Half: Sneakers, Yachts and Hiking Boots

By Greer Jonas

Some new magazine faces have shown up in our top 5 ad-page charts (see below) for June and for the first half (January-June 2011 vs. 2010).  They are sun-bleached, health-minded, sports and outdoor enthusiast in Competitor Group’s Competitor, Source Interlink’s Power & Motoryacht, Mariah Media Inc.’s Outside and Affinity‘s Trailer Life. Obvious advertisers were in the outdoor equipment, footwear, automotive, travel and luxury categories.

Rankings are based on min’s boxscores (premium), which found that the 152 tracked titles were cumulatively +1.45% in the first half.

Here are the "top 5" monthly charts for June and first half based on highest percentage ad-page gains and their profiles:

First-Half Ad-Page Winners

Competitor takes first place in our ad-page performance charts in both June (+76.26%) and the first half (+49.06%). Publisher/executive VP media Andy Hersam tells min: "When we launched Competitor as a fully national brand in early-2010, we set out to capture and engage what we believe is marketing’s most desirable consumer: the endurance athlete. Runners, cyclists, triathletes are health and wellness overachievers. They are also one of the youngest, most active and affluent consumer groups of scale. We built it. And they have come."

Advertisers range from Dodge, Anheuser-Busch, Disney and Dodge to the more obvious Reebok, Nike and Zappos. 

People En Español
Time Inc’s People en Español placed second in the first half (+46.35%).  The popular Spanish-language mag is not new to our top 5 as it continues to reach its targeted audience. “People en Español’s first half advertising growth was primarily driven by increases in toiletries and cosmetics (+34%), retail (+78%) and OTC Drugs (+227%)," says newly appointed publisher Monique Manso. "The magazine has seen renewed and significantly increased commitments from such advertisers such as L’Oréal USA, Procter & Gamble and Pfizer. We are also seeing new business from such prestige beauty brands as Chanel and Estee Lauder."

People StyleWatch

Even more a regular than People en Español is People StyleWatch, which, in ranking third in first half ad pages (+43.54) continued to win advertising accolades every month.  “The key to the success of People StyleWatch has been positioning us as  ‘core’ to our endemic partners and by offering programs that activate our consumer at retail and through social media,” says  publisher Karin Tracy. “This has led to a significant increase in new business in first half 2011, with key category growth from fashion (+73%), retail (+88%) and beauty (+23%).”

Power & Motoryacht
Source Interlink’s PMY  took fourth place in both June (+49.37%) and first half (+34.52%). Associate publisher Cindy Sailor says: "Our success is due in large part to the positive market reception of the magazine’s redesign that launched last November 2010. We also attribute the page increase to improving economic conditions and a continued refinement of our sales and marketing resources.” Big advertisers were Marlow Yacht Sales, Garmin, Interlux and Beneteau.

The activity and sports-minded Outside took fifth place in the first half (+28.49%). VP/publisher Scott Parmelee tells min that Outside has taken a leadership position in the growing “Active Lifestyle” marketplace.

Parmelee observes this growth coming from three advertising arenas: “(1) domestic automotive l (22 pages versus 2 in first-half 2011/+1,000%), with Ford Explorer, Ford Focus, Jeep, and Dodge having led the charge;  (2) consumer electronics (our tech savvy/early adopter audience) is up from 13 to 29 [+123%] led by Kindle, Apple, Bose, Toshiba, Garmin, and Panasonic; and (3) travel–domestic in particular–[+30%] led by Amtrak and a variety of state tourist boards."

June Top Winners

Trailer Life
The Bob Livingston-led Trailer Life took third place in June with +63.58%.  VP/national sales director Terry Thompson says that the huge increase in June ad pages had to do with more focus on dealer sales. "What we did was put together a large package with Freedom Roads (the largest RV dealership chain in the U.S.). It ultimately resulted with 16 additional pages of advertising each month…quite a huge jump."

Condé Nast Traveler
CN Traveler  was fourth in June ad-page gains (+52.20%). Vice president/publisher Chris Mitchell tells min about the new themes that were launched this year, including June’s Health and Wellness. " We are having tremendous success with these themes, and the July Food theme will be no exception. We are seeing strong growth in our travel business, and even more growth in the lifestyle and luxury ad categories."

Town & Country
Lots of changes for Town & Country as we end first-half 2011. We reviewed in length the successful history of  Jim Taylor’s ad-page record as he is retiring as T&C publisher at the age of 45. Taylor’s June/July finale takes fifth place (+47.36%). Newly appointed successor Valerie Salembier (ex-Harper’s Bazaar) says this about T&C editor-in-chief Jay Fielden, the Vogue/The New Yorker alumnus who succeeded Stephen Drucker in January: "Jay is incredibly brilliant, and the June/July issue–his premiere–is spectacular. We will have a great partnership."

Greer Jonas is managing editor of min.