Magazines to Run $90 Million Print Ad Campaign on the Value of Print Ads

In a concentrated strike against the conventional wisdom that print is a dead or dying medium, five magazine titans are teaming up in a massive push to remind their audience how valuable magazines are.

According to The Wall Street Journal, The $90 million project spans nearly 100 magazines and has the backing of Conde Nast’s Charles Townsend, Hearst’s Cathie Black, Meredith’s Jack Griffin, Time Inc.’s Ann Moore, and Wenner Media’s Jann Wenner. The campaign, “Magazines, the Power of Print” (original emphasis), will span seven months starting in April and will reach an estimated 112 million readers. In addition to the publications run by the five main sponsors of the initiative, magazines such as New York, ESPN, and National Geographic will also carry the ads. The participating magazines are donating ad pages to the initiative.

The campaign features such clever slogans as “We Surf the Internet. We Swim in Magazines” and “Will the Internet Kill Magazines? Did Instant Coffee Kill Coffee?” It argues that the rise of the Internet hasn’t occurred at magazines’ expense, noting that magazine subscriptions have increased over the past five years, and that since Google debuted 12 years ago, magazine readership has only increased.

Y&R NY, the agency behind the campaign, has also developed a new logo, apparently inspired by ransom-note writers, to represent print publications:

Y&R NY created the image by combining the distinctive typographies of multiple magazine logos: “M” from Time, “A” from Vanity Fair, “G” from Rolling Stone, “A” from Entertainment Weekly, “Z” from Harper’s Bazaar, “I” from Marie Claire, “N” from Fortune, and “ES” from Esquire.

The project is sponsored supported by the Magazine Publishers of America, which recently had the good fortune to recruit Wenner Media back into its circle after two decades of separation.

Correction: The MPA has alerted us that it is not sponsoring the campaign, but is merely lending its support.