React, Big Time and Tilt-with rate bases ranging from 2 million to 4 million-are scheduled to bow this year, all aimed at some segment of the youth audience and all inserted in newspapers.
The strategy is twofold. Newspapers want to reverse readership losses by reaching a new and younger audience, and marketers want the right media to capture this growing demographic sector. The quest is to find advertisers to support the bold new ventures.
"Advertisers look at kids for two reasons-they consume goods and they influence other decisions," said Ellen Oppenheim, senior VP-media director at FCB/Leber Katz Partners, New York.
The recent decline in kids TV viewing has left many marketers seeking new ways to tap the market. The big hurdle is that "when we try to reach kids, we usually don't think of print first," Ms. Oppenheim said.
Unlike the industry giants Parade and USA Weekend, which are aimed at adults and inserted into the fat Sunday papers, React will be in weekday editions.
"It's designed to bring in younger readers," Parade Publisher Carlo Vittorini said of React. Parade will launch the new title Sept. 9 with a rate base of 4 million and aimed at 12- to 15-year-olds.
Disney Publishing Co. is making a move into the arena with Big Time, a test aimed at school age children. Industry executives say it has signed up the top 10 markets.
The test issue launches May 7 with a rate base of 3.5 million and will be carried by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News and Miami Herald, among others, according to Mr. John Skipper, president of Disney Publishing.
The title is aimed at 8- to 12-year-olds. If the test goes as planned, two more issues are planned for '95: Oct. 22 and Dec. 3. The rate base will jump to 7.5 million and then move to an eight times frequency in 1996.
Also jumping into the fray is a music/entertainment title called Tilt from Metro Marketing Resources, a New York-based company that specializes in free standing inserts for newspapers. The magazine is going after 15- to 28-year-olds.
Even though Tilt is shooting for a July launch and its target audience overlaps with some of React's, Mr. Vittorini said, "We don't regard them as a competitive threat."
Among the newspapers who have already committed to React are the Dallas Morning News, Rocky Mountain News and Newark (N.J.) Star Ledger.
Tilt President Melisa Park said she is "still in negotiations" with participating newspapers, but plans to announce the lineup by March 31. She eventually expects to sell ads for a cost per thousand of $42-roughly double React's CPM.
The three launches join Bloomberg Personal, a monthly personal finance magazine from Bloomberg Financial Markets aimed at adult readers. Launched last September, it's currently in 20 newspapers, though skyrocketing paper prices forced it to postpone weekly plans.
Right now, said Editor in Chief Bill Inman, the plan calls for every-other-week frequency in July with weekly frequency now slated for the first quarter of '96.
One newspaper executive said the new magazines are generally being offered to papers at virtually no charge beyond shipping costs. Advertising is expected to make up the bulk of the revenue stream.