Now That’s Marketing!

I received these two pieces of mail yesterday: a complimentary issue of MacLean’s magazine along with a pitch to subscribe; and a pitch from Maisonneuve magazine, a way cooler rag that promises it is “definitely not MacLean’s.”

McLeans and Maisonneuve magazines

I don’t know if the people at Maisonneuve were aware of the MacLean’s campaign, or if this was just a coincidence. I hope they were aware, because if so this is a pretty cool marketing trick.

10 thoughts on “Now That’s Marketing!

  1. I got the McLean’s ad/sample but not the Maisonneuve version. Wow, I guess you’re buyer file had you pegged as running with a cooler crowd.

  2. “A more youthful UTNE” – they’re banking on some obscure name recognition there.

  3. Maisonneuve’s (or rather, Derek Webster’s) insecurity about just, you know, *being* Maisonneuve is still shining through here. If I already subscribe to Utne or Harper’s, why the hell should I read YOUR me-too magazine?

    I once wrote him an email about that, saying, “Does Harper’s compare itself to the New Yorker or Atlantic Monthly? No.”

    In his (or their) fervent desire to be taken as a Very Serious Publication, they come across like a bunch of wannabes. It’s TERRIBLE marketing.

    What you do is to define YOUR unique selling proposition (USP), what differentiates you from the pack, not what makes you the same as everyone else…I don’t know if Maisonneuve really has one yet.

  4. You make some good points, AJ, but I think you’re slightly off the mark with “Does Harper’s compare itself to the New Yorker or Atlantic Monthly?” The difference being that Harper’s is already widely known and respected, whereas Maisonneuve is still largely a mystery to many people. Furthermore, that line (“Think: a more youthful UTNE, with the smarts of Harpers”) concludes with “but by Canadians,” which does exactly what you’re saying it should do; differentiates it from the rest.

    What I think is happening here is an overlap of two campaigns. I think they’ve been using the “Think… but by Canadians” line for some time, and the merits of that are a separate question. The second campaign (if indeed it is one) could be that they caught wind of MacLean’s “free issue” campaign and banged together the “Definitely Not MacLean’s” thing to run concurrently.

    Or maybe it’s just a coincidence.

  5. BTW, Steve, don’t knock the Utne; I had my name in Utne Reader’s masthead for almost ten years running.

  6. I like the idea of a younger Utne by Canadians…I’m going to try the magazine for a year and see. Thanks for posting the picture – I hadn’t heard of this one until now.

    (my name was in the masthead at Utne for six or seven years, too…)

  7. I haven’t been involved with Utne for some time, but a few years ago they dropped the “Reader” from the magazine’s name and became simply “Utne.” I thought that was a mistake. I just noticed a few days ago, however, that the “Reader” seems to be back in the title.

    Anybody here know anything about that? Heather?

  8. I think it was a rebranding issue a few years ago…they were publishing fewer reprints, weren’t they?

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