Winter rolls around dumping snow and hiding the sun, but it also brings out the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. I love the yearly release of the magazine from a strictly marketing perspective for two reasons. The second campaign I review is the Lowe’s and Home Depot and other newspaper advertisements.
The first reason to love the Swimsuit Edition is the reasoning behind its release. 50 years ago SI faced winter with a slow sports season that affected the quality of their product. To keep readers interested and the subscriptions rolling in, SI decided to release an issue with bikini-clad women to fill a few pages. The features quickly grew in popularity until 1997, when the Swimsuit Edition went to all models and SI elevated its name to the elite. I love how they took a slow period and created a cornerstone to their brand. It serves as a lesson to many content marketers to build a calendar for your content sharing to allow freedom to create another feature.
The second reason why I love the Swimsuit Edition is the advertisements SI features. The effort the marketers put in to their ads to make them match the theme of the issue is incredible. The ads featuring their own swimsuit clad models, such as Dodge Ram Trucks, help the reader pay attention to the ads because they look like the content of the magazine. The cologne ads highlight the feeling in the magazine that one can get these beautiful women with their enticing smell product. This seamless marketing technique is a great case study for any marketer.
If you ever get the newspaper you also get the weekly ads tucked with the other sections. These ads feature the sales at the big chain stores including Boscov’s, JCPenney, and different grocery outlets. Most of these ads are printed on shiny paper featuring brightly colored fruits, and apparel deals. Two ads that quickly pop out as different are the Lowes and Home Depot ads. The ads are printed with high quality ink, but don’t have the shiny look or feel to them. These companies are working with a total marketing approach by printing on a newspaper style paper to show off the grittiness of their products. They help the consumer think of home improvement and set them in the mindset to purchase the products and take on their project.
One suggestion I have for newspaper advertisers: If you using localized marketing tactics release your ads for days where there is predicted significant snowfall because the consumer will be delayed heading to work and will look to pass the time with your advertisements.