Masthead Blogs
Monday, March 02, 2015
57 Media Spikes
Dennis Kelly
Hi- I nearly forgot...

Recently one reader reminded me I hadn’t spoken about the costs of media as much as I promised to a few e-mails ago.

Thanks to B.K. for that memory jog. It Costs HOW MUCH?!?

Well if it costs that much we don’t want it.

Regrettably a refrain I heard from one client on several occasions earlier in my career. Amazing how funds go from: The Sky’s the Limit, to, We Have to Save the Budget.

The arrival of more electronic media platforms does not diminish that there will still be some costs to your ad campaign. Else why are you advertising?

But as clients we are all guilty of wanting to spend only $12 and get $100,000 worth of exposure. As though it is somehow the media’s fault prices are so high and why can’t we knock 90% of those costs off in negotiations.

Despite sometimes wonderfully positive media negotiations, and great savings, there remains the reality of the media costs. Perhaps you’re among many clients who are startled to learn your ad budget doesn’t buy as much as you hoped or expected.

You may recollect in several earlier Media Spikes, we made several golf analogies. Each club performs based on the skill level of the user, but also understanding there are some clubs better suited to a specific shot than others. So too with media.

So which media is suited to which situation?  What you want to do and how much you can afford are key drivers to your media choices.

Wanting to dominate the outdoor skyline with powerful backlit posters for three months is wonderful. But if you’re spending is more modest at several thousand dollars, you’re better off looking at media which won’t exhaust your budget so quickly.

We wanted to demonstrate just what a consistent ad budget would do across all media. Please bear in mind this is prior to any formal negotiations and we recognize additional factors come into play. But to get an idea what one budget could do across different media, we present the following.

Using a budget of $100,000, devoted to each media, in the market of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, you could expect to buy:

Outdoor Media:
        40 Paper Posters,
        Measuring 10’ X 20’, appearing for eight weeks,
        At a cost of $100,000

        100 Transit Shelter faces
        Measuring 4’ Wide X 6’ High, appearing for eight weeks,
        At a cost of $100,000

        20 Horizontal Backlights
        Measuring 10’ X 20’, appearing for eight weeks,
        Translucent Vinyl+
        At a cost of $100,000

Newspaper Media:
        Five (5), ½ page, 4 colour ads in Toronto Broadsheet format
        One ad per week for 5 weeks in Front News section
        Delivering estimated 2.4 Million Impressions to Adults 18+
        At a cost of $99,750

        Two (2) full page, 4 colour ads in Metro Edition of National
        One ad per week for two weeks in Metro Edition at a cost of

Magazines Media:
        Five (5), Full Page, 4 colour ads in Toronto specific and Toronto
        splits of National magazines (General Interest category)
        Estimated 650,000 circulation @ 3 Readers Per Copy
        Delivering 1.95 Million Impressions to Toronto audience
        At a cost of $95,650

Television Media:
        Two hundred & twenty three, Thirty second spots on one citywide
        20+ spots per week for 10 weeks
        To appear on a mixture of Prime (62%) and Off Prime
        Delivering 11.1 Million Impressions to Adults 25-54
        At a cost of $100,000

Radio Media:
        480, 30-second spots on prominent news station
        Airing as 32 spots per week Reach Plans
        Flight can run for 15 weeks.
        Delivering 12.9 Million Impressions to Adults 18+
        At a cost of $95,520

On-Line Media:
        Leaderboards (728 X 90)  and Big Boxes (300 X 250)
        Using ten (10) geo targeted websites
        At an average $30 CPM (depending on unit and site)
        30,000 Impressions per week, for 10 weeks, on 10 websites
        Delivering 3 Million Impressions to Adults 18+
        At a cost of $100,000

Please understand I know this is a simplification as many additional variables go into the final media selection. But I believe it’s important that when making a huge decision of where to invest your media funds, you have every right to have an appreciation of what you are buying, and what you are getting.

Stay Tuned.

"Like to learn more? Nine Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising and How To Actually Make Your Ads Outperform Your Competition  is not for everyone.  It’s for smart marketers who want proven tips to make their ads work harder and smarter.

Is that YOU?
If it is, click here for your copy of, "9 Secrets To Improve Your Advertising"

Do It Now. As a Masthead Online Reader, you can order your own copy for just $30, but only until you reach Media Spike #57.  After that, the price returns to $197.
Monday, March 02, 2015
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
Maxim magazine has announced an all new look and positioning effective with the March 2015 issue. The once hyper-successful “lads magazine” has experienced a sharp decline in circulation recently, down 33% in the first half of 2014. The magazine, which was launched in 1995 reached a zenith of 2 million circulation.

The redesigned magazine targets an older, more affluent audience to match the magazine’s core readership, which has seen its average age increase by 10 years over the past decade. “Our guy has grown up,” said publisher Kevin Martinez. “He’s 33, starting to make money and looking at his life differently, ” according to an article in Ad Week. 

Apparently, the less raunchy approach to both the covers and the interior content, has resulted in a success with advertisers.  The March issue is up 30 pages-a 289 percent increase-from a year ago.  High-end brands like Prada, Armani, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and Bloomingdale’s, have bought ads aimed at the older, more sophisticated male target.

The new cover approach steers clear of any cleavage or bikinis, and is a “less is more” approach.  See new cover and 2014 covers below.



Thursday, February 26, 2015
57 Media Spikes
Dennis Kelly
Here’s a question for you.

Are you a problem solver?

Do you have an expertise that provides a solution other people could benefit from?

Of course you do. You’re an expert gardener, dog trainer, computer programmer, social media marketer, advertising sales rep, dentist, florist, teacher, banker, and in all those capacities and thousands more, you have solutions to a multitude of problems and challenges faced around your neighbourhood and the globe.

You’ve been doing this for years and you’ve become quite good at it. But you’ve been going to ‘work’ for 8 years and you know your job backwards and forwards. You could do this in your sleep. It seems so easy…and it is…because in the majority, you have devoted experience, time, training to get to the expertise you have now. But because YOU do it everyday, it doesn’t seem that special to you anymore. Heck if I can do it, anyone can do it—or so goes the self deprecating commentary.

BUT YOU have amassed enormous knowledge, talent, expertise and you can solve problems that perplex thousands of others. This is EXACTLY what advertisers are doing. (and you can too!)

I would venture to say dear reader, that if you’re a good banker, there are thousands of people who would love to know what you know to improve their financial situation. Many large and small companies continue to offer their expertise in the form of products, or services we see and use everyday.

Maybe you will use cereal or toast or mouthwash everyday. Those manufacturers have sustained their presence in multiple media to make sure you’re not forgetting them and always put them in your grocery cart when shopping.

Maybe you need to see your dentist two or three times per year. His (or her) expertise is in demand and especially prized when you’re in pain. Chances are, you won’t see them advertising in the same channels as your mouthwash provider. But they likewise have the need to market themselves as a pain reliever.

Perhaps this is among the biggest challenges companies face and that is, who can best use their expertise on an ongoing basis and how can we best position (Mr. Ogilvy) ourselves to be the solution to their problem.

Importantly, it will in all likelihood take more than one media channel to reach them on an ongoing basis. Which channels, well that’s where the continual testing comes in to play.

Many advertisers have used one media as a stepping stone to the next. Starting with local newspapers, then local radio, then regional magazines, then a larger newspaper ad, plus they add another radio station, then they jump to local television – you know- to try it out, and when that’s worked, they invest more in bigger TV and Outdoor campaigns...and we applaud these behemoth corporations who grew from nothing to an omnipresence seemingly overnight.

In fact, as smart problem solvers like you, they have recognized the service they are delivering relieves pain or delivers pleasure, and they are bringing that expertise to wider and wider audiences and they have been testing all along to see what is working and what they can discard.

But what’s happened here?  Why are they growing the way there are?

Because they have taken the time to understand the commonality of their audience, and used the media which consistently, persistently and efficiently reach them, and deliver the triggers which cause their audience to purchase.

They have learned what works and what doesn’t. They have discarded or minimized the underperforming media and put their dollars into vehicles which deliver positive return on investment, and they continue to put their muscle behind them.

Remember please, not everyone uses every product in the same way or for the same reason or motivation. We are all different. But we all have some commonality that compels us to use mouthwash (we hope so anyway!).

Remember, the knowledge you have should be put to use in your media planning. You should have some presence of your expertise in front of your customers and prospects on an ongoing basis. It gets harder to be forgotten or dismissed when you are in contact with your customers everyday. After all Dear reader, you’re a problem solver.

Stay tuned.

P.S. Earlier in this series I’ve mentioned the importance – especially when you’re starting out- of picking one media and testing it to see how well it works. Then replace or enhance as necessary.  Ideally you want to have more than one marketing vehicle out there at any time.

If you needed some reinforcement to that idea, you may want to take a peek at this article by Mary Ellen Tribby.

"Like to learn more? Nine Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising and How To Actually Make Your Ads Outperform Your Competition  is not for everyone.  It’s for smart marketers who want proven tips to make their ads work harder and smarter.

Is that YOU?
If it is, click here for your copy of, "9 Secrets To Improve Your Advertising"

Do It Now. As a Masthead Online Reader, you can order your own copy for just $30, but only until you reach Media Spike #57.  After that, the price returns to $197.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Gadget Blog
Martin Seto
In my opinion traditional approaches are still the best way to help grow your clients business. You cannot put all your eggs in the digital basket no matter what the latest media hype suggests. But, the discussion between traditional approaches and the disruption technology has on human interaction and behaviour will influence your client’s marketing  strategy.

Lets not forget that ad recall in the digital medium is the lowest of all advertising choices and a 30 second tv/radio spot, a full page 4 colour ad in newspaper/magazine or a 10' x 20' billboard will still outperform a Big box (300 x250 pixels) ad any day, and that is why they are still thriving. Plus with the growth of cyber crime and automated traffic digital may be losing its lustre as it is becoming an untrustworthy medium.

All right, lets see how, Tim Horton’s has adapted their famous  RRRoll up the Rim  to Win promotion that is a Canadian tradition  like Canadian Tire money. Both of these hugely successful programs have added  an online component to reflect today’s consumer engagement points with their brands. But has the online component made the program more successful or is it just politically correct in today's digital centric world. Well the traffic to the RRRoll up the Rim to Win site suggests that they have hit on their hands as the site ranks 631 in Canada according to Alexa rankings. The regular website is ranked 1,249 and the site gets more traffic than Macleans that’s is ranked 779 in Canada as a comparable benchmark for success.


The RRRoll up the Rim to Win program for the uninitiated is a national sales program that awards prizes in cups that are provided with any beverage purchase. This traditional contest program drives traffic and sales to each location and is mainstay on Tim Hortons promotional calendar. Today, the online component tries to provide that same experience without a purchase and the RRRoll up the Rim to Win program  is now an interactive game online like a casino slot machine. After they register, visitors can pick two out of three cups to see if they win, with opportunities to play every day.  This can be played on your desktop, tablet (not my iPad1 though as the site crashed as it is flash based website) and smartphone. The program runs from Feb 2 until April 17, 2015 and is supported with a national tv campaign.

Canadian Tire has created digital money as they updated their Canadian Tire Money cash purchase rebate program. This was accomplished by using a loyalty card program that tracks all your Canadian tire money in an electronic account. (Watch out Bitcoin here comes Canadian Tire money as the new world currency). The recipient also receives a digital version of the weekly flyer by email to keep them aware of all the in- store specials after they register the card online.


While these marketers have adapted to the changing consumer environment, I wanted to take a  look at business reply cards (BRC), a marketing tool that was great during its time when print was the dominant channel. It provided a lead generation tool for B2B publishers that provided quality leads for advertisers. Has this tool became obsolete in a politically digitally correct world or can we update this for the online reader? In today’s  world of internet speed and websites, the need for a BRC is not necessary anymore as readers do not have to wait for information to be delivered by snail mail as they can now just use search engines to find info or go to the website of company they saw in a B2B magazine website or digital magazine and click on the ad.

So what are publishers to do to replace this valuable lead generation tool?  How can we create a lead funnel for advertisers as part of the ad sales pitch for their reps? Sometimes it is good to go back to the basics and build this out from scratch – The customer ladder we all know is awareness-desire-want-shop-sales pitch-buy- happy customer – repeat buyer. The sales cycle is not accelerated because of the internet just the customer has more information at their fingertips to make a final decision.

In today’s world there are so many channels of communications it is now utterly chaos for marketers. Before it was simple to respond – phone, fax, mail, in-person. Now add all the different ways people communicate today digitally like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest , email, text messaging, Skype, Facetime and this makes it more confusing to the publisher and marketer and they sometimes get caught in the digital spin cycle and waste valuable resources.

To provide you with some focus lets go back to the basics of direct marketing and the importance of the “Offer” to the prospect to get them to respond. B2B marketers have used “FREE information” packaged as whitepapers, research and webinars to attract readers to their advertisers' products. I have used webinars successfully in the past to generate awareness and leads when I worked with GTxcel (formerly Texterity) in the promotion of their digital publishing services for the magazine industry, so I am a big fan of this technique. Webinars are good way to get people’s attention as it captures registration (this is a lead, not a click on an ad btw) and is a soft lead awareness tool.

One of the COPA’s silver winners this year for the best online campaign was an entry from, based in Vancouver, BC in the B2B category that produced a webinar for GEA Westfalia Separator in conjunction with their agency the Litchfield Partnership. The GEA Westfalia’s product is technical and targeted a specialty audience – miners who need a separator for processing ore. It was felt that the best way to communicate this was through a live webinar to explain the benefits of Westaflia’s product. A print and digital campaign was used to promote the campaign that resulted in 1.3 million impressions generating 1,200 clicks to the registration page. Over 190 registered for the webinar with 52 attendees from (63% drop off rate) Africa, North America and South America. One of the difficulties  of free webinar is the drop-off from registration and attendees, so a contest was used to make sure people attend and the winner was announced during the webinar. The 192 registrations were used later for sales follow-up.  Based on the numbers the campaign had CTR of  0.09% , with a click through conversion rate of 16% and an attendance rate of 27%.


One of my current professional challenges is the reinvention of the Masthead business model and this will include the creation of new revenue streams beyond advertising. Plans for 2015 will include the creation of technology services for publishers that include web development, industry awards software services (we are working with the Canadian Journalism Foundation) and webinars. We are also planning to relaunch the Masthead supplier section into a "Connections" database that will include media kits of Canadian publishers that will be promoted to the ad community to generate ad sales opportunities. You can get a free listing in this Connections database at this link (not public yet). There will also be a paid premium listing that will provide a web page for each listing that includes a photo slide show for your company as part of the package. You can enter your free listing now so we can build the database. Let me know what you think so we can fine tune this for the publishing industry to ensure we have all the right categories. If you wish to learn more about this you can contact me at 416-907-6562 or via email at marty(dot)seto(at)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
Back in November 2013, I posted Maxim magazine’s December 2013 as Cover of the Week, which featured Paulina Gretzky on the cover.

The issue is now closed and final.  Sure enough, the issue was their best-selling issue of the year in Canada, with a total of 41,178 copies at a 46% sell-through.

The next best issue in 2013 sold just 28,288 copies. The average sale for 2013 was 22,191 copies sold at a 25% sell-through.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
Fly Fusion magazine had a banner year in 2014, as they continued their growth strategy in the USA. Very few Canadian magazines can seriously compete in the USA market. But Fly Fusion now sells more copies in the USA then they do in Canada.

All four issues in 2014 posted impressive sales gains.Three of four issues established new all time sales for their respective time slots.

A shout out goes to Susan Keavney at Coast to Coast.
  1. Winter issue up 7%
  2. Spring issue up 21%
  3. Summer up 13%
  4. Fall up 23%

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
57 Media Spikes
Dennis Kelly
Thank you for sharing a few minutes with me.

You may have noticed several Media Spikes so far have mentioned The Power of 26.

An expression I’ve coined and use as a subtitle in my Blog as part of The Spike of Angels. Quite simply The Power of 26 refers to the enormous power in the alphabet, and how those  26 letters are the lynchpin to our world and every level of communication.

And sometimes, in media presentations, you’ve probably noticed a lot of abbreviations and initials are used to take the place of cumbersome words and titles. 

While texting and tweeting have forced us to rely on phonetics instead of full words, I thought it might be helpful to elaborate on many of the initials and short forms you may see or hear or read in many media memos.

A Glossary of Media Terms could fill the next five to six e-mails in this series. That’s more than overwhelming. But I thought a few terms from each of the primary media may be of assistance. This is not meant to be exhaustive, but to give you some knowledge next time these terms show up in a media presentation (You’ll impress the media person too, if you know some of the jargon).

ADJACENCY: A commercial time slot immediately before or after a specific program (First spot when the program goes to break, or last spot before the commercial break returns to programming). If these two spots are the same advertisers, it’s often called Bookends.

Audience Composition: The characteristics which make up your target group. Based on demographics, lifestyle, income, education etc.

BCR-Budget Control Report: Sometimes monthly, quarterly or annually, it tracks actual expenditures versus projections.

CA: Census Agglomeration
: A geographical area, defined by Statistics Canada, with a population of between 10,000 and 99,999.

CMA- Census Metropolitan Area (CMA): Geographical Area defined by Statistics Canada, with a population in excess of 100,000.

CMA – Central Market Area (CMA):
Geographical area defined by BBM, usually centered around one urban centre.

CPR – Cost Per Rating: The costs of delivering a message to 1% of a pre-determined group.

CPM – Cost Per Thousand: The cost to deliver a message to 1,000 individuals- preferably the individuals who fit your target group.

CUME- Cumulative Audience: This is the total unduplicated number of homes or individuals who are reached by a schedule of commercials or programs or print issues within a given time.

EFFICIENCY: Evaluating how a good a buy you or your space buyer did based on CPM’s or CPR’s as above.

EMA – Extended market Area (EMA): Geographical area comprised of a market and adjacent counties or census divisions as defined by Nielsen Media Research.

FREQUENCY: The number of times an advertising message has been exposed to a target audience.

GRP’s: Gross Rating Points: The sum of all ratings delivered by a given schedule against a pre-determined target group.  GRP’s= Reach X Frequency ( Reach ie: 25%, times Frequency, say 4 times = 100 GRP’s).

HUT : Homes Using Television: The percentage of households with one or more televisions tuned in at a given time.

The total number of commercial occasions (or ads) scheduled, multiplied by the total target audience potentially exposed to each occasion. The media plan’s impressions are usually expressed as Gross Impressions. That is the total potential number of opportunities for the message to be seen.

A report of the estimated deliveries of a purchased media schedule.
POST BUY ANALYSIS: An analysis of actual media deliveries calculated after a spot or schedule has run.

REACH: A measurement of the cumulative unduplicated target audience potentially exposed once or more to a particular program, station or publication in a specific time period. This is usually expressed as a percentage of the target population in a geographically defined area.

There are easily over 200 additional terms of Jargon and alphabet soup related to the industry and to Media in particular.

As noted, this was not intended to be exhaustive - nobody wants to read a dictionary- but they may give you a glimmer of familiarity that will make future meetings and presentations clearer for you.

The Power of 26 is an indispensable tool for every interest and industry. In the abbreviated words of my son’s good buddy ‘Tigger’ of Winnie the Pooh fame, T.T.F.N.  (not a media term, but Ta Ta For Now!)

Stay tuned.

P.S.: If you are so inclined to learn more, please contact me-, and ask specifically for The Exhaustive List of Media Abbreviations and Terminology.

"Like to learn more? Nine Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising and How To Actually Make Your Ads Outperform Your Competition  is not for everyone.  It’s for smart marketers who want proven tips to make their ads work harder and smarter.

Is that YOU?
If it is, click here for your copy of, "9 Secrets To Improve Your Advertising"

Do It Now. As a Masthead Online Reader, you can order your own copy for just $30, but only until you reach Media Spike #57.  After that, the price returns to $197.

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The Victoria Cross SIP from Legion Magazine was a winner. Sales were 8,360 copies. Sell-through was 42%. Sales were up 4,143 copies or 98% from the previous year in the Winter time slot.Copies sold at a $14.95 price point.

It has been shortlisted for the 2015 Canadian Cover Awards.


Thursday, February 19, 2015
57 Media Spikes
Dennis Kelly
Greetings dear reader.

So did you buy it yet?

That new suit? The watch? The sexy earrings? The new car? The sweater? The carpeting?

C’mon, the ad has been out there for three days now, why aren’t you running to the cash register?

Most advertisers will stall and hem and haw about what they want to say in their ads. Then when they at last pull the trigger for an online or radio, or newspaper, or outdoor, or television, or magazine or composite of all of these campaign, they’re startled when the cash register doesn’t light up within minutes.

Typically, most consumers receive their product information a spoonful at a time. Learning a bit more about you with each exposure. They may not want or need you right away, but when they do, you want to be the one they think of.

Can you remember a particular product you saw advertised and RIGHT AWAY ran out to buy it? It may have caught your attention. But you’re not impressed enough yet. The second time it caught you attention and piqued your Interest enough to learn more. The next time in front of you, it caught attention, held interest, created desire, but not action.

The following two, or five or thirty more repetitions continued until finally all elements of the AIDA formula came together and you took some action and purchased the product.

As advertisers, the sale can’t happen fast enough.
As consumers we’re not always in such a hurry for the purchase.

Thus repetition becomes necessary to overcome resistance until finally we agree to part with their asking price.

That repetition comes in multiple forms and we can see this same advertiser in newspaper and radio, or in online and magazine, television and outdoor, radio and on-line, in-store and in elevators and all the time you are driving sales and building the brand.

Personally, I believe if you are driving sales successfully, and making your customers happy with dependable, reliable service and products, the brand building will take care of itself.

Your name or logo will transcend all hesitation and speculation because your sales efforts and follow-up have earned you a trustworthy reputation. Something that many brands fail to achieve because of inconsistency.

Do you remember what I mentioned way back in Media Spike #3, that’s about six weeks ago now, that your advertising should be like an ongoing dating process.

That was true then and it still is now.  My wife agreed to our first date all those years ago, but I’m still trying to woo her and keep her attention and interest because the brand is ME.

Remember you are trying to cultivate a long term relationship with your customer. They are your bread and butter and need constant attention to keep coming back to you for whatever your service is.

Another key point to remember in your advertising and marketing is that YOU will tire of your message and media mix long before the customer does.

Too often clients have pulled campaigns that were still working simply because the ‘agency’ wanted to freshen it up.  BUT it’s still working. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is a key finding from your testing- you are still testing aren’t you? 

The testing will show you what message is working in what media and if one ad starts to falter, then try another, and another. Keep something going all the time and as well as you’re able, always be in front of your audience with some messaging.

You may not be persuaded on the first attempt, but multiple exposures will lead to enhanced opportunity to make the sale.  Maybe you only needed three exposures while your neighbour needed 19. As long as it continues to pull in sales at a respectable pace, then keep your messaging in the marketplace.

Stay tuned.

"Like to learn more? Nine Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising and How To Actually Make Your Ads Outperform Your Competition  is not for everyone.  It’s for smart marketers who want proven tips to make their ads work harder and smarter.

Is that YOU?
If it is, click here for your copy of, "9 Secrets To Improve Your Advertising"

Do It Now. As a Masthead Online Reader, you can order your own copy for just $30, but only until you reach Media Spike #57.  After that, the price returns to $197.

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The April/May 2014 issue of Canada’s History sold extremely well. Sales were up 1,908 copies or 88% from prior year’s issue in this time slot. It was the second best result ever in this time slot.

It has been shortlisted in the Small Magazine Category for the 2015 Canadian Cover Awards.


Firings, hirings, imminent closures, new launches, fallings-out, alliances—provide the lead in the space below and we’ll get to the bottom of it. While discretion is assured, our Tipline is anonymous.