Special bonus rexblog feature: Earlier today, I blogged a report from a Bentonville, Ark., newspaper regarding the special customized cover and editorial section appearing in issues of Lucky Magazine sold in Wal-Marts. As the only “history of custom publishing” I can search is my memory, I’ve been trying to rack my brain to recall another instance in which a magazine has run such a special section that is not labeled an advertorial section and that is marketed on the newsstand with a cover-flap featuring the place-of-purchase. I’m sure there are others, but the closest I can think of are annual sports season previews (from Athlon and others) that feature custom covers highlighting the local franchise or university. However, the Wal-Mart Lucky is a concept that uses the magazine’s cover to specifically promote the retailer in which the magazine is being sold…and includes an “editorial” section, produced by the editorial staff of the magazine, that features products found at the retailer.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that (in Lucky’s case, at least) there is any editorial integrity issues in question here. It’s Lucky Magazine, after all. It’s a bold move, I must say, and it takes product placement to new heights — the cover. And as I said in my previous post, I have my doubts about the ROI on such an effort, if, as implied in the article, there is no revenue beyond the incremental magazine units sold at Wal-Mart (if the numbers reported are correct).
But I had to go pick up a copy for myself. And, as a service to the seven readers of the rexblog, I scanned in the pages below so you can check out the Wal-Mart Lucky version for yourselves. Click on any image to enlarge.
Regular Lucky (left) Wal-Mart Lucky (right)
The four-page “Lucky Shops Wal-Mart” bonus section