How to make money if you are a TV Guide subscriber in NY or LA

Last month, TVNewser echo’d — and I tweeted — what turned out to be a false rumor about TV Guide. The magazine is still coming out in print despite how believable it sounded when the rumor suggested there is no reason to have a TV Guide print version when TV Guide now exists on the TV.

However, beyond such conventional wisdom, there are things you can do with magazine subscribers that you can’t do with people who just click around on the web or channel surf on cable.

From MediaWeek, here’s an interesting magazine-delivered promotion:

“ABC Entertainment and TV Guide are teaming up to give the magazine’s readers a Grey’s Anatomy hospital gown to promote the return of the show this season on Thursday, Sept. 27. The ABC branded-gown will be poly-bagged in the Sept. 24 issue of TV Guide, which will be mailed to subscribers in the New York and Los Angeles markets to coincide with the season four premiere of the show.”

Talk about delivering value. If only TV Guide subscribers in two markets receive the gowns, then, ABC and the magazine are handing out winning lottery tickets. A certain percentage of readers — over 50%, I guess — will instantly throw away the gown. Others will hang onto it and throw it away within a few days.

However, a few smart subscribers will not touch it — will not even open the polybag — and will sell it on eBay. As I’ve explained on this blog Grey’s Anatomy has one of the most “conversational” fan-bases in existence. And, since these collectible gowns are being distributed to a small segment of viewers, the after-market value of them will sky-rocket.

However, don’t open the polybag if you want to sell it on eBay. If you don’t, I feel certain you can receive a price worth many years of whatever you paid for that subscription through the Publisher’s Clearing House.

  • Steve NeSmith

    $100 says the marketing team that created the hospital gown promotion never even thought about the residual conversational mileage they’d get from this campaign. Call me cynical, but your speculation about this campaign may be giving the marketing department too much credit, although I hope I am wrong.

  • Rex Hammock

    I’m not giving them credit for the conversational part of this. I’m giving them credit for traditional magazine polybagged delivery of a clever creative idea — conversations follow good creative.