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June Good Media Idea: Magazine bellybands

Posted by Scott Christopher on Tue, Jun 10, 2014 @ 11:06 AM

This month we are featuring a print good media idea that we have found to be very effective for our B2B advertisers. When we begin working on the media plan for our B2B clients, we are always looking for impactful units that will make our client stand out. Often, many B2B industries are still very entrenched in print media - their audiences still prefer the tactile experience of flipping through a magazine or keeping it on their shelf or truck dashboard for quick reference. Such is the case with our client in the construction and roadway industry, Tensar International. We always consider the media consumption habits of the target audience before formulating a media plan.

Knowing trade magazine was the preferred medium, we began thinking creatively about what units we could implement with the major industry publications to maximize visibility and creative real estate for Tensar. One unit we have recommended for several of our clients are what we refer to as "bellybands." They are also called cover wraps, and you may have seen them even on a consumer publication you have read. Basically, it is a glossy unit that is usually half the size of the outside of the magazine, which covers the front and wraps around to the back where it is held together by an adhesive. It can slide up and down on the cover, or be broken apart in the back. Below is a picture of a couple we have placed:

magazine bellyband unit

The great thing about these units is that a reader MUST interact with it to read the magazine, either sliding it off or ungluing it in the back. With both of the above examples, we used these units to drive traffic to a trade show booth. The unit on the left is on the publication's issue for the trade show, and the unit on the right is actually wrapped around the show guide. We have found bellybands are a stellar unit for trade show support as well as new product launches and other special messaging.

As with any good media idea, to be effective it needs proper execution of the creative. We work closely with our creative partners to make sure the messaging complements this unique size, or in some cases we may have another unit on the inside of that publication or even on the back cover. Of course, if this unit is covering up part of another back cover ad, you want the two messages to work well together. Here's a superb example of doing that well - created by our partners at Mock, The Agency.

Mock creative

Sometimes it works out and our client's bellyband actually wraps over one of their competitor's ad as seen in this example. I'm sure they loved that! We sure did.

back cover/cover wrap

Like all of these examples, when done well these ads can make an impact for our client, resulting in leads and/or more exposure at a crucial trade show. Sometimes in order to execute the goals of our media plan, we work closely with publishers to develop these units they may not even sell yet, like bellybands, but also false covers, flysheets and more. (Of course we always evaluate on a CPM basis, to make sure the audience is there, it's not cost prohibitive with printing, etc.) Publishers love us - we have created a new unit they can sell - and we become their go-to when they develop another new program or unique offering, a huge win for our clients. This above-and-beyond thinking not only strengthens our relationships with publishers, but gives our client's a competitive advantage with creative executions that they did not know were possible - we are not limited to normal vanilla B2B advertising.  

Topics: good media idea, B2B media planning, print advertising, top southeast media buying agency

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