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A Blueprint For The Future

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Whatever people are obsessed with in 2105—galaxywide obesity, the hit TV show Desperate Robots, a Cubs World Series victory—the Magazine Publishers of America believes print magazines will be there, and be better than ever. In a fast-digitizing world, that may not be a sure thing, but the MPA is bringing its vision to life in a grand, fun campaign that uses fake magazine covers to imagine how the world will look 100 years from now.

Wrapped around Time's March 7 issue, for example, is a March 7, 2105, cover that shows what look like mechas from A.I. and the line, "Android rights: Is owning one unconstitutional?" That's slyly counterpoised with other plus ça change items: "Galactic court debates Roe v. Wade"; "Dow hits 500,000"; "Deleting depression"; and, perhaps scariest of all, "Tracking coffee smugglers." Inside, the MPA explains itself: "No matter how things change ... or how complicated the world becomes ... magazines will always help us make sense of it all."

People and Sports Illustrated joined Time in the first wave; the MPA has 40 titles committed through July, and hopes to have 100 magazines participate over three years, says Nicole Kaplan, vp of marketing and promotions for the MPA. Each magazine is responsible for its own creative, with Fallon New York serving as the "gatekeeper" of the effort. (The upcoming Newsweek cover shown here includes the lines, "Business: Weekends reinstated" and "Sports: Can Yanks reverse 100 yr. curse?".) The MPA is not paying for the placement, as the ads are intended to boost the magazine industry as a whole. Kaplan says she thinks the faux covers will say a lot about what the magazines think of their brands, as well as "what will be important to their readers and what will continue to be relevant and engaging to consumers."