Redbook, Now for Parents

Mini-magazine for parents will be included with November issues

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Redbook-reading moms will get something extra with their November issues of the women’s service magazine. Using subscriber data to target readers with kids aged 12 and under, Redbook is polybagging 500,000 copies of a new children’s supplement, Kidbook, with its latest issue. Another 75,000 will be distributed with newsstand copies. The mini-mag will include tips on decorating kids' rooms, movie-inspired kiddie style (think boys’ plaid trousers for Newsies and girls’ pink furry vests for Clueless), and Halloween costume ideas.

Kidbook will be Redbook’s first targeted "outsert," said publisher Mary Morgan. It was inspired by a reader shopping study that Redbook completed last spring, which found that style and home-decorating were especially popular topics. “Readers told us that they love the style content, so it made us think: Why wouldn’t they want the same content for their kids?” said Morgan. It seems to be in line with Redbook's recent brand positioning; one of the original Seven Sisters of mass-market women's service magazines, it has tried to go after a younger audience by positioning itself as the title for young, married moms

Of Kidbook’s nine advertisers, five are new to the Redbook brand: Waverly home furnishings, LeapFrog educational toys, Riviana Foods, arts and crafts chain Michaels, and TruMoo milk. Based on the strong advertiser response, Redbook is planning to another Kidbook for inclusion with its September 2013 issue; Morgan said she's been in talks with several retailers about exclusive sponsorship of the next version. She's also thinking about a possible mobile extension with Kidbook’s advertising partner. “We could use geo-targeting, so when you’re in that retailer’s store, custom Kidbook content would pop up with back-to-school ideas,” said Morgan.

Redbook isn't the first Hearst Magazines title to experiment with vertical spinoffs. Esquire and Marie Claire have come out with supplements about life at work, and Food Network Magazine created a spinoff for kids.

With the advertiser success of Kidbook, Morgan is hoping to extend the “outsert” concept to other areas—like a career-focused Redbook Workbook, or a Redbook Homebook filled with home style ideas.


@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.