The New York Times writes that Hearst Magazines is stepping up efforts to persuade readers and advertisers to rethink fundamental concepts about covers in its article, “Unfold, open, reveal: Hearst reimagines magazine covers”.
Speaking to the New York Times, Michael A. Clinton, publishing director and president for marketing of Hearst Magazines in New York said: “In a world of click, swipe, delete, where a lot of images are fleeting, the unique selling proposition of the magazine world is our covers. And in a world of fragmentation and clutter, advertisers are looking for opportunities to make big statements.”
Hearst Magazines has been redesigning covers for several years despite the cost being as much as 50 per cent more than the most expensive traditional cover ads. A balancing act between getting agencies to pay without turning off readers by blurring beyond recognition the line between editorial content and advertising. Previous covers include the February 2009 issue of Esquire which had a flap mid-cover that asked readers to “Open here”; those who did saw, on one side, quotations from articles inside the magazine and, on the other, an ad for a new Discovery Channel series.
In 2014 Hearst upped its creative initiatives with about 20 inventive covers for Hearst mainstays such as Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar and Woman’s Day, as well as newer publications like Food Network Magazine, HGTV Magazine, Marie Claire and O: The Oprah Magazine.
Examples covered by The New York Times include a six-page unit that unfolds from a back cover and wraps around a front cover to provide readers a second front cover; a kind of cover that unfolds so many times, it has been nicknamed the origami cover; and the cover of the December issue of O with three round, die-cut doors — including one in the upper left corner, doubling as the O logo — with inspirational quotations from Oprah Winfrey on one side and Ikea ads on the other.
Printing company Quad/Graphics is working with Hearst on reconceiving the magazine cover and looking to get a higher response rate from readers through their creativity.
Clinton is reported as hinting there will be more new ideas coming to Hearst covers in 2015, along with adapted versions of ads for inside pages. Watch this space…