The economy may still be in recovery, but the indicators are good for Fortune magazine: this year's Fortune 500 has the most ad pages of any Fortune issue since 2004. With 193 ads (and a total 356 pages), the magazine's biggest franchise is up 36 year-over-year in ad pages, including 75 advertisers who didn’t appear in last year’s issue.
Jed Hartman, group publisher for news and business at Time Inc., said some of the issue’s biggest ad growth came from the automotive, travel, and fashion categories (auto was up 79 year-over-year, while fashion rose 21 percent).
Major ad buys came from clients like tech company Box, which bought banner strips across 26 pages in the print issue and on Fortune.com, as well as a custom mailing that went out to Fortune 500 CEOs and CMOs. The Hartford, CDW and Nationwide participated in a new series of branded advertorials called “company spotlights” that puts custom company profiles (written by Fortune’s marketing team) next to their regular ads.
Hartman said this year’s Fortune 500 issue will also look different from its predecessors, due to the oversight of Fortune’s new creative director Brandon Kavulla, who joined the magazine from Wired in March.
The issue, which ranks the top U.S. companies by gross revenue (the total for 2012: $820 billion), is being fêted with the second “Fortune 500 Day,” which includes a reveal on CBS This Morning and a special Empire State Building lighting in red, white and blue.