Canada promotes `genuine' mags

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[Toronto] It's a Canadian magazine, eh. Canada's magazine publishers are tapping the country's quirks and foibles in a multi-faceted effort promoting "Genuine Canadian" titles on newsstands coast-to-coast. This month, the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association ramps up a $4.7 million national print, TV and outdoor campaign and event-marketing effort, designed to lure readers-and subscriptions-to home-grown magazines and away from the U.S. titles that dominate the market. White-coated researchers in the humorous TV spot even repackage Canadian magazines to make them stand out. "We tried sticking things on them," says the voice-over, while lab technicians try to cram a magazine with antlers attached through a mail slot. "We tried sticking a mascot in-store," the voice continues as a female tester kicks a pushy bear character in the crotch. Finally, though, it's a truly Canadian focus group-a bunch of beavers-that presents the solution. "Stick with a logo," says one beaver before the scene dissolves to tell viewers to look for the "Genuine Canadian" symbol on magazines and at newsstands. Canadians want to read Canadian titles but have had trouble identifying them, says Maureen Cavan, the director of the association's national circulation and promotions program. She cited like-sounding titles Today's Parent and Parenting, which are Canadian and U.S. publications, respectively. "Forty percent of readers did not recognize Canadian titles as being Canadian." Eight print ads hit on distinctive Canadian characteristics, including the country's colored money, sports, donut styles and even lingo. "Eh. Colour. Chinook. Hoser. Mickey. Pogey. Muskeg. Deke. Poutine," reads the bold copy in one of the ads in red and white, the colors of Canada's flag. "We have our own language. We have our own magazines." Creative is from One Company. Hambley & Woolley developed the "Genuine Canadian" icon. Goodman Communications Group handles national PR work, including magazine readings by media celebrities from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. All shops are in Toronto. Spending is split equally between 160 participating magazines and the Canadian Magazine Fund, a federal government initiative to bolster the fortunes of Canadian titles. QwikFIND aao64v
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