'Time' takes its red border to the street

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Time Inc.'s flagship title Time is getting ready to unveil a new marketing campaign created by its agency, Publicis Groupe's Fallon, New York. But instead of a traditional print campaign, the magazine's trademark red border will be used in some unorthodox ways in some unusual places.

One of the more ambitious ideas involves painting the red Time border on city streets-most likely in New York and Boston, where the political conventions will be held later this year. Fallon is working with a high-tech audio company to produce a targeted audio ad that will only be audible to those standing inside the border. When someone in the street steps into the bounds of the decal, an audio news feed from a story in the magazine will be read. When they step out, they will just hear the noise of the street.

Eileen Naughton, Time president, said the idea was to reach beyond the magazine's 34 million current subscribers and target non-readers who think that Time is just about Washington politics and world events. "Time is a magazine that makes people feel smarter."

Anne Bologna, president of Fallon, New York said, "The brief was make the campaign have more impact, make it bolder. The challenge for the agency was, how do you evolve one of the most classic print campaigns of all time?"

freshening up

The work, set to break in late spring across the nation, showcases a set of provocative questions posed within the context of Time's red border. One execution on the window of a bakery stacked with bread reads simply, "The Enemy?"

"The idea was to freshen up the campaign and take the red border outside," said Ari Merkin, executive creative director, Fallon. "We said look at it as content, not ads for the magazine."

Another execution will hang the Time border above an escalator in a shopping mall, and pose the question of whether convenience is the leading cause of obesity. One effort, which will be seen on the outside of a vacant office building will read, "Should we focus on occupying our own country?" Another, "Can Mars sustain life? Can Earth?" will appear on a large skyscraper.

The execution destined to be one of the most provocative will appear on fences surrounding construction sites and reads, "You are an honest, hardworking American. Why won't anyone hire you?" The peephole contains a picture of a traditionally clad citizen of India and is aimed at plugging into a major election issue: outsourcing.

The agency, currently in negotiation with various city councils to tackle the legal issues which accompany street marketing, is also planning to sit water coolers on the sidewalk with the Time red border, to extend the idea that Time helps readers join in conversations.

Fallon is also working on two other separate projects for Time. One is an initiative to open up Time's valuable archives by mid-2004 for use as an online educational resource. According to Ms. Naughton, Hewlett Packard Co. has become a technology and marketing partner, and has helped the company digitize 81 years of the magazine's photography and worked on making the archive more consumer friendly. The new archive will launch in September and will be free to subscribers and available on a pay-per-use site for non-subscribers. The new archive will also form the subject of the latest "HP +..." campaign from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, part of Omnicom Group.

The second is a project aimed at tying Time in more closely with major art exhibitions around the U.S.

Separately, Fallon, New York picked up a Time Inc. project to help promote the relaunch hallowed title Life, which is returning to print as a weekly newspaper supplement. The campaign, which will involve print work, is expected to begin in September.

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