Cover Story: 'Esquire' Gets Creative


NEW YORK Esquire editor David Granger (shown), who caused a flap with the February issue that hid an ad on its cover, is getting ready for his next act.

Granger’s May issue will have three perforated covers that can be separated into horizontal strips. When flipped over, those strips create different images. Actor George Clooney and President Barack Obama are two of the three planned cover subjects for the issue, themed "How to Be a Man."

Printing company Sandy Alexander is handling the job, which Esquire believes to be the first time a magazine has used perforated covers.

The History Channel bought two of the multiple covers plus the two-page spread following the third cover. The network planned to use the covers to promote its planned show, Life After People: The Series, which will look at what would happen to Earth if people suddenly disappeared. History Channel parent A&E Television Networks is a joint venture of Hearst Corp., Disney-ABC Television Group and NBC Universal.

“This is a very targeted, innovative breakthrough,” Chris Moseley, svp, marketing, History Channel, said. “It reaches upscale, highly educated, professional, managerial men, which is a match with our audience. And they’re not that easy to reach.”  

Kevin O’Malley, vp, publisher of the Hearst Magazines title, said the History Channel responded to the first-time nature of the covers as well as the issue theme. “The show they’re launching really aligns with the issue theme and the iconic appeal of the cover subjects,” he said.

The May treatment will be Granger’s second unconventional cover this year. The February issue cover contained a window, which, when opened, revealed an ad opposite editorial content. The American Society of Magazine Editors concluded that the cover flap didn’t violate its editorial guidelines, although some members worried that such innovation would lead magazines to create covers to appeal to advertisers.

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