In an effort to promote its all-important September fashion issues, Hearst is taking its consumer marketing strategy to the streets—literally. This morning, the publisher is debuting the "MagMobile," a roving newsstand selling copies of Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen in and around New York City.
The MagMobile makes its first stop today in Manhattan, where it will be stationed outside the Apple Store on 5th Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tomorrow, the truck heads out to Jones Beach, followed by Seaside Heights, New Jersey. On Monday, the MagMobile returns to downtown NYC.
To boost consumer awareness, Hearst will be promoting the MagMobile on social media and local New York radio station Z-100, and flying airplane banners over both beaches. The MagMobile will also be offering giveaways (like beauty samples from sponsors Nivea and L'Oréal) and prizes (including a trip to Cancun).
The MagMobile is one facet of Hearst's "Super September" strategy, said Hearst Magazines president and publishing director Michael Clinton, who also oversees consumer marketing. Through a partnership with Barnes & Noble, Hearst is using beacon technology to alert potential Elle readers to the September issue's arrival when they pass a B&N store. And for the second year in a row, Hearst will be selling a 9.2-pound "Fashion To Go" box—containing issues of Bazaar, Elle and Marie Claire—and select bookstores and duty-free shops.
Elle, which turns 30 this year, is publishing its biggest issue ever, featuring actress Keira Knightley (also 30 years old) on four different covers sponsored by LVMH. The magazine will fête its third decade with a party at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Paris during Fashion Week.
Bazaar, whose September issue is also the largest in its 148-year history, includes the "Icons" portfolio by Carine Roitfeld featuring celebrities like Katy Perry (also on the cover) and Oprah Winfrey dressed as other iconic women. The portfolio will be celebrated in New York next month at a CoverGirl-sponsored gala. Inside the magazine, readers will also find a 15-page preview of the upcoming Bazaar Models book, sponsored by Stuart Weitzman.
Marie Claire's September issue is its second-largest ever—last year's 20th anniversary issue holds the title for fattest book—and features Miley Cyrus on the cover, plus packages from LVMH and J.C. Penney. Clinton wouldn't provide details of Cosmopolitan's September ad growth—presumably, the issue is down from last year—but noted that November's 50th anniversary issue will be a blowout. (Hearst, along with the rest of the magazine publishing industry, no longer publicly releases its ad page numbers.)
Overall, the fashion group's strong September showing can be linked to luxury brands betting on U.S. consumers. "All of the European luxury markets have significantly increased their spend in America, particularly as the rest of the world is a bit softer and the luxury marketplace in the U.S. is very robust," said Clinton. "The American market is now the growth market."