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Saturday, September 01, 2007

You can have too many inserts



My Saga magazine has just thumped through the letterbox. As I opened the wrapping a pile of inserts fell onto the floor. And when I say pile I mean a pile. See the photo.

I have always had my doubts about the effectiveness of magazine inserts. I have major doubts when the insert total is thirteen items. The temptation is to bundle the whole lot of them directly into the waste bin. This definitely a case of where more does not mean better.
Saga is responsible for 4 of these items trying to sell me:
Health insurance
Motor Insurance
Product likes mobility scooters and stairlifts. They sent me an extra one of these.

Then there are the promotional items from companies. These were promoting:
Hearing aids
Beef (yes, fresh beef)
Fashions for the 50-plus (two of these)
Eye Glasses
Which (The consumer magazine)
Furniture covers
A utility company
Gadgets
Why have I taken your time to read this list and my time to type it? Ask yourself this: if you were a brand manager, for multi-age international brand, would you want to be associated with this assortment of stuff?

Well, fortunately for Saga there are a few that do. The magazine had full page ads from Hertz, Peugot, L’Oreal, Bose, Benecol and Shredded Wheat.

I know Saga walks a tightrope between trying to appeal to global brands and paying the bills from day to day age-silo products. This is not a simple task.

But, the one thing it can do something about is the excessive number of inserts. It doesn’t do the image of the magazine any good and it is ineffectual adverting. Dick Stroud

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