GSD&M Goes Weekly With Us in Relaunch Effort

Print Ads, Radio Spots to Change With Each Issue of Magazine
DALLAS–GSD&M unveils a new ad campaign this week to accompany the much-ballyhooed relaunch of Us Weekly.
The $2 million print and radio campaign takes its cue from the magazine, with a topical theme that changes weekly. For the first ad, appearing in trade magazines on March 27, a photo of rapper Puff Daddy is shown in upper and lower segments of the ad, along with the words, “Rap” and “Rap sheet.” A tag below reads, “A lot can happen in a week.”
Another print ad shows Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Above is the phrase, “Robs the cradle”; below, “Rocks the cradle.”
Like the client’s decision to go from a monthly to a weekly, the Austin, Texas, shop’s decision to pursue a strategy involving the weekly generation of new creative is a labor-intensive one.
“The concept is a challenge,” said Nick Johnson, GSD&M account supervisor. “It will take a true team effort. We’re going to need the lines of communications [with Us Weekly] open every day of the week to get these things out the door.”
Kent Brownridge, the general manager of the magazine’s publisher, Wenner Media, said of the campaign, “The trick is, you’ve got to be clever every week. We’ve been doing this now for eight weeks, doing phantom issues and sort of getting into the rhythm of publishing weekly. Each time we pick a cover, we’ve had GSD&M do the trade campaign, and they’ve done a brilliant job.”
A consumer push will target radio, teasing the magazine with quick listings of celebrities in the next issues. Us Weekly is cast as a youthful, alternative entertainment magazine, focusing on budding stars.
The new creative is part of $50 million devoted to the relaunch; it hit newsstands last week with
an initial circulation of 1 million. GSD&M devised the campaign last summer as part of its winning pitch for Wenner Media, New York.