N.Y. Shop to Launch ‘Scientific American’ Work

NEW YORK Scientific American is trying to change its “nerdy” image among media buyers, and a new campaign by Brown Kelly O’Neill & Partners aims to catch their eyes.

“It reads a lot faster, and the art direction is a lot easier on the eyes [than it used to be],” said John Kelly, president and CEO of the New York agency. “The magazine is misunderstood.”

A “rifle-shot” outdoor media buy launches Monday and targets media agencies that represent coveted advertisers, Kelly said. For example, while Toyota advertises its Prius in Scientific American, BMW does not advertise, and while Hewlett-Packard is an advertiser, IBM is not.

Phone kiosks and billboards outside agency offices will sport ads for Scientific American tagged, “Use your head.” Ads will note the publication’s status as the fastest-growing magazine in terms of ad pages, Kelly said. Scientific American has a readership of 2.7 million educated, affluent consumers.

“A lot of people in the media community consider the magazine to be for nerds, and it isn’t,” Kelly said.