‘Fortune’ Creates Its Own Print Ads

NEW YORK Fortune will launch a print campaign next week that was conceived by its internal communications team.

“It was really almost an accident,” said Carrie Ross Welch, the magazine’s director of communications. “We wanted to challenge ourselves to see if we could come up with something as an exercise. We never expected it to go this far.”

The ads juxtapose photographs from recent Fortune stories, including portraits of business and political leaders, with one-word headlines. The meaning of the headlines becomes clear in the context of short copy quoted directly from the original Fortune article. In one ad, the word “Power” accompanies a picture of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Copy recalls the 2002 story about how the twins have become the most financially successful child stars ever.

While the magazine’s agency of record, Mullen, offered suggestions, it did not contribute to the creative work, Welch said. The in-house team created a rough execution of its idea and pitched it to the magazine’s executive board, she said. The board liked the idea and suggested the team produce it themselves.

Mullen remains Fortune‘s agency of record and will continue to partner with the magazine on strategic issues, Welch said.

The creative team’s eight executions will run in June and July issues of sibling Time Inc. magazines, including Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated and Money, as well as advertising and media trade publications. A second flight of ads will break in the fall.

Campaign spending was undisclosed.