Media Magazine

With Magazine Advertising Surging, Time to Get More Creative About Mobile Platform Ads

Posted on the 08 February 2013 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

This is the weekend edition of TheMarioBlog and will be updated as needed. The next blog post is Monday, Feb. 11

TAKEAWAY:  It’s, indeed, very good news to hear that advertising revenue is picking up for US magazines. A good opportunity to seek the moment and start creating more tablet-friendly, engaging ads based on genuine storytelling. PLUS: New look for The New York Times T Magazine

Let’s hear it for advertising on the increase for magazines.

Even more interesting: advertising for luxury brands seems to be up too, and advertisers have a preference for those printed glossy pages.

A recent post in The Huffington Post calls attention to the good news.  Here are the highlights:


Advertising for luxury brands is driving increases in first-quarter ad pages at big magazine publishers, a welcome dose of good news for companies that have grappled with layoffs, restructurings and general malaise in a business whose fortunes have fallen as the online world has grown.

Conde Nast, Hearst Magazines, Time Inc and Rodale all expect a rise in ad pages sold in their magazines for the first quarter.

Good news for mobile ads, too

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Graphic shows that percentage of time spent on mobile drastically overshadows the amount of ad spend (

I have been chatting with Paul Mestemaker, of Mythly Studios, a “creative digital boutique” in Los Angeles.  Our conversations are primarily about a mutual interest in that intersection of creativity and technology, but, most recently about how that fusion can lead to the creation of better storytelling for customized ads aimed at mobile devices, such as the tablet, a subject we continue to explore as a source of possible collaborations.

Paul sends me a fact filled mail about the subject, which includes the image above, taken from one of his recent presentations.

Key takeaways from Paul:

The percentage of time spent on mobile is growing incredibly fast, but the percentage of advertising dollars is seriously lagging behind.

There is a large supply of advertising space available, but people aren’t filling it with content let alone useful content.

Because of the relative over-abundance of supply and low ad fulfillment, mobile ad units are likely as cheap as they are ever going to get.

If you’re not already, you should experiment with mobile ads now!  They are incredibly cheap compared to ads on every other medium.  You’re looking at an average CPM of $0.75 compared to $3.50 on the desktop.  Given that eCommerce is relatively difficult on mobile compared to desktop, you need to re-think what your call to action should be on a mobile device.  Don’t expect someone to complete a multi-step purchase after seeing an ad.  They may share something on Facebook or enter their email address or sign up for an SMS campaign,“ Paul writes.

Paul has solid advice for brands, too:

If you’re a brand, you want your ad to:

Play well in the mobile ecosystem.

Have some level of engagement within the ad itself.  Give them something they want to explore.

Allow people to easily exit your ad.

Opt-in/opt-out for sound.

Finally, Paul thinks that luxury brands, particularly should seize the moment:

This is an especially great time for luxury brands to execute on iPad ads.  Phone and tablet ad units are relatively cheap compared to desktop ad units ($0.75 CPM vs. $3.50 CPM).  This is likely because click-through to mobile sites and near-immediate conversions are less likely to be completed on mobile than on desktop.  This works out in the favor of luxury brands because they are not trying to get you to impulse purchase a high cost item.  They want you to respect their brand and envy the lifestyle associated with it.  Luxury brands want to build an emotional connection with you over time versus a offering a short-term deal/coupon for an immediately measurable conversion.

2013 is the time for luxury brands to double down on iPad advertising.  Over 125MM iPads have been sold to a primarily affluent demographic.  Since mobile ad space is relatively cheap, you can get premium placement in digital magazines and newspapers at a discount compared to web properties.  Most mobile ads are poorly executed—they are repurposed banner ads from the web that are displayed on mobile and tablets.  By specifically designing your ad for tablets, you can really make your brand stand out just by providing a smooth and integrated experience.

Now it’s time to rethink advertising for mobile devices

With the good news of advertisers buying more ad space in magazines, and this information about the availability of more space for ads in mobile devices,  it is an opportune time for us to take a look at the immense possibilities that exist to explore more creative, storytelling-rich ads, especially for mobile devices, such as the tablet.

The subject came up this week, too, during our Brand Perfect Adventures in Publishing conference in New York City, where speakers engaged in a brief discussion of the subject.

In a nutshell: we are not even in the infancy of exploring the possibilities that the tablet afford advertisers.  If we figure that the tablet is not radio, television, newspaper or magazine, but with elements of all of the above, then we need to look at how advertising can be best crafted for this platform.

In my view, it will require a major effort by the creative teams of advertising agencies to come forth with the type of tablet-driven ads that engage the users, allow for interactivity and tell memorable stories.  These ads, in my view, will borrow from journalistic strategies of storytelling, along with some of the more traditional advertising styles.  The result may be ads that are content driven, where the product for sale is not in your face, but the message stays in your mind, eventually producing the desired effect for the user.

If there is an area of publishing where rich adventures await, it is precisely in advertising for mobile devices.

We at Garcia Media are deeply interested and pursuing ways in which we can take part in experimental approaches to effective mobile platform advertising. Paul and his team at Mythly Studios, hold the same beliefs: that mobile platform ads must result in immersive experiences. “We build ads for that provide multiple layers of engagement without requiring people to leave their app,“ he says.

Meanwhile, if you know of some effective advertising displayed in tablet editions of newspapers and/or magazines, please let us know so that we can take a look and share it with our readers.

The good news is that our Garcia Media team and Paul’s team are discussing ways in which we can take this interesting and essential subject of creativity in mobile platform advertising to the next level. Stay tuned.

New look for T Magazine

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The new cover for the Times’ T Magazine

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Old and new covers of T Magazine

Gone is that classic letter T that says Times without even spelling it fully.  It is a T that we associate with Times, as in The New York Times.

But now a new look for the Times’ Magazine, and, indeed, a new T.  This one is orange, sans serif and it makes more of an ornament on the cover.  Perhaps we must get used to the new logo. Right now it is the intruder that got into the room without permission. Yes, I know, we will get over it, welcome it and, in no time at all, it will feel like it was always there. But not just yet.

I can only imagine what this otherwise supremely typical T cover, with the elegant Lee Razdziwill on the cover, all attired in black, and the headline True Elegance that appears superfluous.  I admit that the cream colored (orange?) logo contrasts nicely here, but the subject of this cover would have gone much better with the old logo. Just my opinion.

Of related interest:

First Look at Deborah Needleman’s T Magazine

First paragraph:

The cover is Lee Radziwill. Needleman said the idea to do a story on Radziwill began while she was still at The Wall Street Journal. She’d met Radziwill last April at a design conference in Morocco and, though the aging socialite and sister of Jacqueline Kennedy doesn’t sit for many interviews, she agreed to a profile with WSJ.

My interview in Russia

I recently participated in a public lecture about Storytelling in the Age of the Tablet, sponsored by RIA Novosti in Moscow, Russia.  Here is an English version of my interview with Alexei Pankin, RIA Novosti correspondent and editor of WAN-IFRA-GIPP Magazine, a Russian version of WAN-IFRA Magazine for the international publishing professionals.

Go here for interview:

Where’s Mario until March 2, 2013?

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Mario’s upcoming speaking engagements

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Take advantage of our iPad Design/Ad Lab workshops

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Do you want to take your brand to the next level by creating a tablet edition? Garcia Media can help. We now offer one- to two-day iPad Design Lab workshops on demand to jumpstart your presence on this exciting new platform. We also offer iPad Ad Lab workshops to develop engaging advertising models for your app. Contact us for more information.

With magazine advertising surging, time to get more creative about mobile platform ads

Purchase the book on the iBookstore

iPad Design Lab has been given the QED Seal

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The QED (Quality–Excellence–Design) Seal is bestowed by the judges of the Publishing Innovation Awards after “a thorough, professional 13-point design review with an eye towards readability across multiple devices and in multiple formats.“

Learn more about the QED Seal here.

The EPUB version of book is HERE:

Now available: The EPUB version of  iPad Design Lab: Storytelling in the Age of the Tablet, ready for download via for Kindle:

Here is how you can get iPad Design Lab book:

The original version of the book is the multitouch textbook version available on the iBookstore for iPad (iOS 5.0 and up):

This version includes video walkthroughs, audio introductions to each chapter, swipeable slideshows, a glossary and a sophisticated look and feel.

Apple only sells multitouch textbooks in certain countries at this time, unfortunately. Copies are available in at least the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and the United States.

For those in other countries and without an iPad, we have made the book available in a basic edition for other platforms. This basic edition includes the full text of the original, along with the images and captions, but lacks the other features such as audio and video. It is available on the following platforms in many countries:

Amazon Kindle:

Google Books:

Take a video tour of iPad Design Lab

iPad Design Lab” trailer on Vimeo.

Read the Society of Publication Designers’ review of The iPad Design Lab here:

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Keep up with Mario Garcia Jr.. via Garcia Interactive: helping transform online news since 1995.

TheMarioBlog post #1190

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