Poster #fail

billboard poster

Guess the advertiser

I posted this picture on LinkedIn yesterday as it’s a classic case of a missing detail buggering up an entire campaign.

The advert is on an electronic billboard near the office. It’s a big display, on a prime site that’s passed by thousands of cars and pedestrians each day. It’s an ’impactful’ poster with a simple, clear message, strong colours and compelling visuals (magazine covers are always eye-catching).

The one problem is that there’s no way of knowing who the advertiser is. There’s no web address, no brand name, and when you google “your favourite magazines” you get Future’s shop site (’MyFavouriteMagazines’).

I’m reasonably sure the advertiser is Zinio because of the range of publishers on show, the number of titles they mention and because of the digital emphasis, but I’m not 100% certain. If I’m in the dark it’s unlikely that a consumer would be any wiser.

This can’t be a cheap place to advertise (and they’ve apparently also got the same ad on a site in or near Westfield) and whatever has been spent is utterly wasted.

Make that headline “#massivefail”

UPDATE: It’s not Zinio – apparently it was a joint initiative across five of the biggest magazine publishers to promote digital magazines in the run up to Christmas. On the plus side, it’s great to see publishers working together; I’ve redacted the negative side, because if I ever want to get another job in this industry, I suspect that my opinion of the execution of the campaign would be a mite prejudicial to any of those firms hiring me. (If you do it again guys, I’m happy to share thoughts.)


‘The next big thing’ that never was

The news that Zinio might be up for sale is interesting, as is the $50-100 million price tag.

Without knowing the financials it’s hard to know whether this figure is realistic, or a bit of kite-flying by the sellers, but I’d be surprised if the business was worth this much. In November last year it raised $20 million of new funding, but there’s a lack of transparency on why they wanted this, what they’ve done with it and how much is left.

Zinio is a classic example of the advantages and the perils of being the first into a market; it is by far the biggest player with by far the biggest range of magazines, but its structure and business model is geared towards it having a near-monopoly and for it to have achieved exponential growth. It obviously wanted to do for magazines what Amazon had done for books, but it has never come close. (more…)