Magazine covers have for the longest time been the sole domain of the editorial team. Last April the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) removed it’s rule barring advertisements on the covers of magazines. Cardone thinks ASME’s decision reflects an industry trend of considering different kinds of advertising opportunities. Magazines are quickly catching up on native advertising-thinking.
According to publisher Nancy Berger Cardone, sponsored extras only add to the magazine experience and the Marie Claire audience appreciate it. She says the only kind of complaints the magazine has received about the sponsored cover reveals are from subscribers who didn’t receive one and wish they had. But with 870,000 subscribers, the production cost can be prohibitive for advertisers.
Another example of Marie Claire’s innovative advertising: in May 2014, it partnered with Maybelline for the “Fresh Faces” issue, featuring a multi-layered cover flap that folded out to reveal all five cover stars (see below). Cardone says it was the biggest cover in the history of publishing in terms of size.
Frye may not be a denim company, but the partnership made sense for the brand because its boots lend themselves to being styled with denim. The footwear company also wanted to drive traffic to its website and capture data from women across the country; to that end, Marie Claire organized a sweepstakes element by partnering with cover star Kristen Stewart. Readers can enter to win a trip to the premiere of her new movie “American Ultra” in Los Angeles, a meeting with her and a pair of Frye boots.