Editions   North America | Europe | Magazine


Fujifilm and Terminal Van Gogh launch first fully variable magazine cover with variable advertising for Graphic Arts Magazine

Press release from the issuing company

Toronto, October 14, 2007 - Terminal Van Gogh Ltd. (TVG), a leading data driven 1 to 1 communication company, announced today that jointly TVG and Fujifilm Canada developed the first fully variable magazine cover for Graphic Arts Magazine's October edition . 
The purpose of the joint collaboration between TVG and Fujifilm was to promote variable print applications to commercial printers.  Many equipment vendors promote the potential of variable print, but few can demonstrate its application for their own business.  Fujifilm initiated the project to showcase its industry leading knowledge and ability to guide its commercial print customers on the potential of variable print.  According to John Zarwin of Graphic Arts Magazine, "It is one of the first, if not the first, example of a variable magazine cover to go out with variable advertising, in which the cover and the ads are directed to the individual subscriber, not just personalized but tailored."
All four cover pages were variable. The front cover was customized based on a number of factors, including title/position, company size and business sector.  Customized covers, while still unusual, are nothing new. Magazines have printed versioned covers for many years. Late last year, the American trade publication Graphic Arts Monthly printed subscribers' names on the front cover, and the tech magazine Wired recently printed individual subscribers' photos on a limited run. The production of the covers for this issue of Graphic Arts Magazine, however, was more complex. Relying on a variety of criteria, corporate demographic factors, and profiles, each cover is unique to each individual subscriber.
The level of individualization went beyond simple name and address. The covers were customized based on each subscribers' position, their company's type of business within the printing industry, geographical location, company size and whether or not their company is a customer of Fujifilm Canada. Most of the information came from Graphic Arts Magazine's subscription information, with an overlay of Fujifilm's customer data base.
Each front cover also has variable Fujifilm ads that featured pictures of the subscriber's local Fujifilm account representative. Messaging varied based on whether the subscriber was a current Fujifilm customer or not and combined geography (sales territory) with customer status. Combining these variable messages with the different cover themes increased the complexity of the project and its effectiveness. The other front cover ad from Graphics Canada was also variable, based on sector or type of business.
The inside front cover showed how such a highly relevant, data-driven cover was generated for each subscriber.  It brought home how targeted each cover was, while being variable in and of itself and demonstrated the logic used for the campaign. 
The inside back cover reinforced the relevance of variable advertising. The people shown in the ad changed based on Fujifilm sales territories.  The actual Fujifilm team that the subscriber would have as a Fujifilm customer were shown.  This team included the sales rep (the same as on the front cover) installation manager, service person, training manager, tech support person, and administration contact. The purpose was to build and reinforce the personal relationship with the account team from Fujifilm by actually seeing their Fujifilm Account Manager's information and picture in three places; front cover, inside front cover and inside back cover. Multiple marketing exposures creates higher reader recognition.  As well, the Fujifilm ad,promoted different Xerox digital presses depending on company size and type of business
Finally, the back cover contains two ads from companies that were involved in the production, RP Graphics and Data Business Solutions, personalized with the subscriber's name and company.
"This was a highly complex undertaking and pushed the envelope for variable printing," said Tony Karg, Senior Director of Marketing and Business development, Fujifilm Canada, "and accordingly we wanted to work with other industry leaders".  Fujifilm initiated the project, bringing onboard industry experts Terminal Van Gogh (TVG), a 1:1 marketing and database specialist, both on creative, programming and production. After the creative was finished, the first step was to normalize the database. The magazine provided TVG with their subscription list and information, supplemented by purchased third-party information. TVG refined the data, extracting the key demographic information and logic of the program. They then overlaid the combined database with Fujifilm's own customer database. 
TVG's approach is truly 1:1, combining all of the unique elements for each recipient. The level of complexity was high, theoretically generating in excess of 428,000 different covers and combinations - not including the name and address! TVG's CEO David Murdoch says, "You no longer have to fit a square peg into a round hole…A 1:1 piece is deceptively simple because it's relevant. It throws out everything that's extraneous."