Reader’s Digest Association’s Taste of Home magazine is overhauling its look for the second time in a year as it tries to make itself more appealing to advertisers while maintaining its longstanding, homespun character.
With the December/January issue, the bimonthly magazine replaces its logo with a more contemporary one while keeping the tagline “cooking, caring, sharing.” The content is organized into new sections like Cook Smart and Close to Home that are designed to provide better adjacency opportunities for advertisers.
Suzanne Grimes, president of RDA’s Food & Entertaining business unit, said the magazine’s changes were incremental by design. “We’re trying to create an environment advertisers feel comfortable in, but we had to do it in a way readers would be happy with,” she said. “We wanted to go really slowly.”
The issue carries 14 ad pages, including new clients Hallmark, Heinz and Crisco. Grimes expects endemic packaged goods makers and retailers to make up the bread and butter of the magazine’s advertising, but didn’t rule out running ads from nonendemic categories like auto “if it makes sense to our audience.”
Despite the challenging ad outlook, Grimes said she expected to grow ad pages next year, although she stopped short of giving a goal, saying, “I don’t think anyone in their right mind is prepared to talk about ’09.”
Taste of Home will increase slightly its guaranteed rate base to advertisers with the Feb/March issue, to 3.2 million from 3.1 million.