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Industry Insight

Esquire looks to Energize Print

Perhaps it is just me,

By Bob Sacks
Published: October 30, 2009

Perhaps it is just me, but does anyone really think it is a good idea for print products to drive readers to their computers and to the web? This is a big duh, what were they thinking moment.

Cool ....yes, but cool for whom?  This is a really cool look at what the internet can do and has very little to do with print magazines.  It makes the magazine a comical sidekick to the real star. This has nothing to do with the assets and attributes of magazine publishing.

Wouldn't it be better to what we do best? Provide the best reading material possible.  What if the money that was spent on this project was spent instead on the very best authors available? Hmmm. Reading the damn best authors available.... I'd spend some real money on that!  Please lets try to do what we do best or just fold up out tents and capitulate now.  Excelling in your niche is your only hope. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.

I do wish these guys would call me first. Oh, well, for the record, I am always out here if you need me.

 

Discussion

By Marc Fors on Nov 02, 2009

You're spot-on. Do readers and buyers of magazines really want to be manipulating their magazine in front of a web-cam? Somebody hire the ad salesperson that can successfully pitch this to an advertiser because he/she is a genius.
I'd rather Esquire pay for better writers, then I might be manipulating the magazine because I was engaged by the compelling articles rather than a chance to see a dancing crossword game as I bent up the magazine more that the post office did.
Esquire's eye-candy competition is the inevitable 4-color Kindle along with the writer's at Vanity Fair.

 

By Michael J on Nov 02, 2009

I think this effort has to go into the advertising budget. They've wasted a lot more than this with probably less buzz.

I agree that holding up the magazine to the computer PC is just candy. But consider that most of the media loves candy,

As magazines incorporate 2d codes to create clickstreams that can be analyzed for marketers the finance people get interested. Since the finance people now control the buzz creators, it bodes well for print.

The inconvenient truth about the web is that it is very hard to get a significant revenue stream from the web. It's pretty clear that the price for eyeballs and even click throughs is fast approaching a number that makes it a nice, but small.

 

By Bryan Yeager on Nov 02, 2009

Hmm... driving people from a magazine (funded largely by advertisers) to a magazine's Website (funded largely by advertisers)... Bad idea or a way to make print more interactive and provide more value to advertisers? How can you pay for good journalism if you're ad-funded and your industry's ad pages are on the decline? I don't need to tell you this, but publishers have been driving people from print to the Web for years now, for better or worse. Supposedly (according to Magazine Publishers of America), 25% of magazine subscriptions now come from the Web. Seems to me like there's some opportunity there for conversions, at the very least. How many times have we seen a newspaper or magazine point to an interactive feature on their Website? Now we can actually bring some of that interactivity and content into print. God forbid we do that!

To me, it seems like Esquire's trying to drive people to their print edition by generating buzz around its use of integrated technology. You've got a point about the "cool" factor: there's no doubt that Esquire is using Augmented Reality technology as a gimmick, which is part of the problem. Jack Benoff from interactive marketing/ad agency http://www.zugara.com" rel="nofollow">Zugara wrote a http://www.mediabistro.com/agencyspy/opeds/oped_esquires_augmented_reality_misses_the_point_141838.asp" rel="nofollow">great op-ed on MediaBistro's AgencySpy about how Esquire's AR magazine misses the point about implementing this technology, which I tend to agree with. They are doing it for the buzz and not for the value, which there arguably could be if executed well. However, I don't believe this one issue warrants an early write-off on the effective use of Augmented Reality. Besides, a little of the "buzz" factor can't hurt.

 

By Gail NIckel-Kailing on Nov 15, 2009

Laid out my money for the copy AR copy of Esquire - to the vast entertainment of a couple of friends! Downloaded the 70MB "mini app" that made the whole thing work and tried it out.

Unimpressed! Could be so much more...

 

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