Woman's Day becomes the first women's magazine to try the approach, which allows readers to send in camera-phone photos of ads or editorial content to get bounce-back messages, enter a sweepstakes, see related video and the like.
Idea gains traction
Men's Health and Rolling Stone have also tried the strategy. Other magazines such as CosmoGirl have explored similar methods that use texting without involving camera phones. They haven't released precise results, saying only that the response has been strong, so it's hard to say how common the practice might become. But the industry is clearly intrigued; Woman's Day will describe the interactive issue to attendees at the 2008 American Magazine Conference in San Francisco.
Woman's Day is using icons on the interactive ads and articles to tell readers what they can get for sending in a photo, said Carlos Lamadrid, VP-publisher of the Hachette Filipacchi title. "It's not just that it's enabled," he said. "We give the reader a reason to do it."
For advertisers, the phone messages provide direct signs of return on their investment in advertising. The editorial content that's involved may, however, prove at least as intriguing to marketers. Readers can use a camera-phone photo to buy items including a necklace sold at Target.
Eager to be useful
"We are a service magazine," said Mr. Lamadrid. "It takes the concept of a magazine being of service to the reader to another level."
Similarly, the winter issue of Martha Stewart Weddings, on sale at the end of December, will use mobile technology to make every ad available for camera-phone interaction.