Men’s Fitness Lets Readers Sample Scents

Sales of male grooming products continue to grow

Scent-loving guys will find a bonus in the November issue of Men’s Fitness: fragrance samples in the editorial pages.

Global sales of men’s grooming products have grown an average of 6 percent per year since 2006, per Euromonitor International. To capitalize on the trend, the American Media Inc. title recently transitioned from a workout to a lifestyle title, adding content about cooking, fashion and grooming.

For its fragrance guide in next month’s issue, the magazine decided to up the service quotient with two samples courtesy of Coty: Eternity Aqua by Calvin Klein and Guess’ Guess Night.

Men’s Fitness readers are “young, stylish, body-conscious men who value looking—and smelling—good,” said David Zinczenko, AMI’s consulting editorial director. “This was a chance to actually empower them and give them some buying power before they walk into the store.”

The execution was tricky. The magazine had to produce the edit pages, then send them to Coty to insert samples. Coty then sent the pages back to the publisher to insert into the book. Men’s Fitness chose one fragrance maker to keep the process manageable. Coty is an advertiser, though Men’s Fitness said its editorial decisions were independent of that.

Such edit could help Men’s Fitness get more grooming ads where the title has already seen strong growth—the category was up 25 pages, or 44 percent, in 2013 versus 2012. It also doesn’t hurt the case for print to do something that can’t be pulled off online.