Popular Science digital belly band drives brand engagement for BASF
By Chantal Tode
October 1, 2012
The November tablet cover will have a belly band
With 70,000 subscribers to its iPad edition, Popular Science is looking to attract more tablet advertisers with a new digital belly band ad format.
Chemicals company BASF is the first advertiser to sponsor the digital belly band. The brand’s ad will appear on tablet edition’s cover for November, which is being released on Oct. 15.
“The concept of the belly band is really founded in the old print belly band,” said Steven B. Grune, vice president and group publisher of the technology group at Bonnier Corp., New York. "We wanted to have the same form with digital to allow advertisers to have a unique engagement with our readers.
“Readers have to literally touch the brand before can read the issue,” he said.
Tap here to read
The idea for the belly band ad format came from the traditional print belly band, which is a strip of paper wrapped around the outside of a magazine that requires readers to rip it open before they can start reading.
Subscribers to the tablet edition will first see animation related to the cover image when they access the November issue. Once that ends, the belly band animation will play – when it is over, readers will see a button that says, “Tap here to read the issue.”
When users touch the belly band, it dissolves and they can begin reading.
The June Home Depot ad in the iPad edition of Popular Science.
The BASF digital belly band shows a woman’s face and features copy that reads, “We create chemistry that helps skin love the sun.”
BASF purchased the belly band as part of a package and also has the first ad inside the issue.
“BASF is a print partner with us this year and it wanted to take the relationship deeper by testing some new creative out there,” Mr. Grune said.
“It is a blend of enhanced editorial and an enhanced ad together on a front cover, which is very unique and can’t be replicated in print,” he said.
Tablet advertising grows
Popular Science reports that it is also hearing more requests from advertisers for tablet ads that are measurable.
For example, in the June tablet edition, Home Depot ran a Father’s Day gift guide displaying 24 different gift ideas, each of which took users to the retailer’s Web site when touched.
Popular Science reports that overall is has 100,000 subscribers to its Popular Science + digital edition, which includes enhanced editorial and advertising. Subscriptions to the digital edition are sold independently of the print magazine and cost $15 for 12 issues.
“The requests from advertisers for tablet advertising has grown dramatically in the past year,” said Mike Gallic, associate publisher, marketing, at Bonnier.
“The overall numbers are nowhere near where they are in print but advertisers are very curious to have new creative that uses all of the creativity and measurement capabilities of tablets,” he said.
“The creative is getting much better and the back-end metrics are much more sophisticated and deeper.”
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
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