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The other day I was thumbing through AdvertisingAge and on the outside back cover I noticed an ad for Airbnbmag. The ad stated that ad deadlines were fast approaching. Furthermore, it said to contact Hearst for more information.

As I quickly figured it out, this was Airbnb’s new glossy magazine.

But Airbnb is not the only company investing in branded print magazines.

One of the oldest, and longest running magazine of this type is The Furrow published by Deere & Co. This branded print magazine is a young 121 years old!

Barneys New York has one that runs alongside their branded mobile app. Mercedes Benz has a branded print magazine, even Lego and Wal-Mart too. And the list goes on.

Here you have these great companies, some even digital only companies, that realize a branded print magazine is a strong marketing tool for them.

Going back to Airbnb’s magazine, I recalled reading an article awhile back about a previously launched magazine called Pineapple.

As I dug more into it (i.e. I simply googled it!), I found that Pineapple didn’t last very long, but that in November 2016 they teamed up with Hearst to keep the printed piece going.

To launch this new magazine, Hearst and Airbnb even had a glitzy announcement party.

So here is this ginormous internet company that believes a great marketing tool is an old-school printed magazine.

But I suspect they quickly realized with their previous attempt at Pineapple, that publishing is a big job, and it was not their expertise. Hence their partnership with Hearst.

As I’ve said before, performing arts program books are, like it or not, niche publications. And for your program book to be successful it needs to be treated as such.

And this is where the power of the printed performing arts program book comes in. By having a high-end program book that caters both to the audience as well as the advertisers, this makes for a very strong marketing piece for the performing arts organization.

But if these are being produced without this publishing mind-set, it will fall flat on its face and could potentially harm the image that is trying to be portrayed for the performing arts venue. Good selling!

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