SENIOR PERIODICAL TAKES AIM AT DRUG, TRAVEL ADVERTISERS: 'GET UP & GO' CLAIMS 1.6 MIL CIRCULATION, SETS EXPANSION

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A new print vehicle, built on the chassis of regional weekly shopper newspapers targeting senior citizens, offers advertisers a window to the mature market.

Age Wave Communications' lifestyle publication Get Up and Go! offers a national editorial format with additional locally generated content to make a vehicle appealing to national and local advertisers.

Get Up and Go! -- like its shopper predecessors -- continues to be available free of charge.

WIDE DISTRIBUTION

The publication claims it distributes 47 editions in 10 states; circulation is 1.6 million, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations. There are plans to expand to markets in the Northwest, Midwest and Southwest this year, according to Ken Dychtwald, publisher-chairman of Age Wave.

"The dream was to create a national network of local-oriented publications for a new generation of mature men and women," says Mr. Dychtwald.

To achieve this, from 1996 to '98 it acquired 14 newspapers targeting senior citizens. Age Wave revamped those newspapers into a unified monthly.

Now the covers feature celebrities such as Sophia Loren and Harrison Ford. Articles range from the anti-aging benefits of vitamin E to the joys of traveling by train. Local features include a calendar of events.

NOT FOR FUDDY-DUDDIES

"What we are trying to do is have this product that says, 'This is what it means to be over 50; you're cool, alive, even outrageous; you're not a fuddy-duddy,' " says Leda Sanford, national editor.

About 10 national ad pages are available each month along with regional ad pages with a focus on financial services, pharmaceutical and travel categories.

A color page ad in the national edition is $51,874; b&w is $46,110 (based on a 1.6 million circulation). An example of a regional ad rate is $7,160 for color or $6,760 for a b&w ad in the Northern California edition (150,000 rate base).

The editorial concept was attractive to Get Up and Go! advertiser American Airlines.

The carrier ran its first ad in the March issue and plans similar buys through November to highlight its Active American Travelers Club.

The club offers zone fares and discounts for car rentals and cruises to people age 62 and older, says Gisselle Miranda, project manager for senior products for American Airlines.

FLYING RESULTS

"We have found with our membership drive last year in the cities where Get Up and Go! is distributed, we had a 15% increase in membership vs. the cities where it was not distributed," she says.

Mr. Dychtwald says advertisers' attitudes about senior citizens are changing as the group is becoming more affluent and mobile.

According to the Newspaper Association of America, 64% of people aged 45 to 54 read daily newspapers and 70% read the Sunday edition; 66% of people aged 55 to 64 read a daily and 71% read the Sunday editions.

"We are about to go through a transformation," says Mr. Dychtwald. "This group is vital, active and very potent in the marketplace."

The concept is obvious to the Arizona Republic's National Advertising Manager Catherine Zasada as well.

SEEKING A FRESH WAY

Ms. Zasada says she hasn't seen an immediate impact on the Republic since Get Up and Go! was launched. But the Republic will begin publishing its own monthly tabloid targeting the 50-plus market, a supplement featuring lifestyle articles, local and national advertising.

"We feel the whole generation needs to be addressed in a fresh way," says Ms. Zasada.

Another new advertising venture also hopes to provide a link for advertisers to the senior market.

Senior Network, a Stamford, Conn.-based marketing communications shop, recently initiated a media buying venture called Mature Market Newspaper Network. It specializes in senior-focused sections of newspapers.

The network will take some of the legwork out of finding ad space by offering a one-stop shop, says Norman Sherman, managing director of the venture.

Marketers can select which publications they want to place ads in, providing an efficient way of reaching their target audience, he says.

SERVING MARKET

"This is creating means for newspapers to become a national vehicle for the senior market," he says.

"The exciting thing about this market," contends Ms. Miranda, is that "you know it's going to get bigger. Now is the perfect time to work with this market, you

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