Figuring out the yearly income on selling ad spaces in Sports Illustrated gave real insight into the world of magazine advertising and the different types of clutter that magazine readers are subjected to. In this week’s issue, October 13, 2008, 23 of the 93 pages were full page multi-colored ads. That’s about 31. 2% of the pages filled with just ads. At $290,950 charged per full page ad, the total is $8,437,550 that every issue of Sports Illustrated makes in one week alone.
Every year Sports Illustrated publishes 52 issues, so that means $8,437,550 per issue multiplied by 52 issues a year, Sports Illustrated is making approximately $438,752,600 a year just on ad space sales! It makes one wonder what percentage of their total revenue are subscriptions and what percentage are ad space sales. Another aspect to consider is if they publish so many issues a year, they might have to hire more staff to get more articles written at a quicker pace, which could mean higher salary and travel expenses, which could be a reason for charging more for ad space.
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When a media planner is developing the media plan, the decisions he or she has to make is who the target market is, what other factors may influence the plan (special events such as the Super Bowl or Olympics, the economy, technology etc. ), cost, where the ad should be promoted geographically and what medium to use that will ensure that the client gets the best media mix possible. To reduce clutter in the magazine environment, the magazines must have fewer ads in the magazine therefore they must sell fewer ads.
Magazines do not want to do this because advertisements are how they acquire revenue, which is obvious from our findings in the Sports Illustrated magazine. Magazines could think of other ways for advertisements to be in the magazine without having actual pages of ads. Examples of this could be having firms sponsor more articles or sweepstakes, or using their product in their articles or photographs. Of course, the most eye catching way to get the reader’s attention is to have an actual advertisement in the magazine (and magazines do not want to reduce their ads, that would mean less money for them! therefore we believe the clutter in the magazine environment will not be reduced in the near future. In order for firms to compete effectively through all the clutter in magazines, they will have to think of really creative ways in order to grab the attention of the consumers. An easy way to do this is implement the IMC process in their firm and then carry it out in their ads. A good example of this is Nike and their message “Just Do It” that is coupled with their logo the “swish” sign.
Nike uses this message and logo in every single one of their ads, making it easier for the consumer to remember Nike. Another way for firms to stand out is to use fold-out ads, pop-out ads or multiple page ads. We have also noticed that when we are reading a magazine, the ads before the table of contents are always the ones that get the most attention. We have also noticed that ads with celebrities seem to catch the most attention to the reader. Also to break through the clutter a firm will have to use more than just magazines to reach their target market.
TV commercials, radio ads, direct mail, newspapers and sponsorship are also more conventional ways to use the media. The internet also seems to be a very popular place to advertise especially on Facebook and Myspace where the site has millions of users a day (but firms have to keep in mind that there is a lot of clutter in the internet as well). What we seem to be seeing a lot lately is firms sponsoring or somehow getting their name into a TV show, for example on Project Runway, BlueFly. om lets them use their accessories on the show and Tresemme has a hair salon that they use with all their products. One of the prizes of Project Runway is a new Kia and in the one the episodes, the contestants had to make an outfit out of parts of a Kia car. Another example would be on What Not To Wear, they give the person on the show a $5,000 Visa MasterCard to shop with in New York City (where they also show different stores where the person shops at). Therefore, firms can reach out to their target market by sponsoring something that their target market would be watching as well as reading.