Advertising and Obscurity: Two sides of the same coin

Old School Quarterly (OSQ), like many magazines, is advertiser supported. Advertising is omnipresent in our world today, and we’re constantly assailed by it: when we go to the store, when we watch television, or even rent the latest blockbuster from Redbox. Let’s not even talk about being online, right? Advertising is part and parcel of our world. We can’t escape it, and aren’t likely to any time soon. Remember scenes from Minority Report  where ads appeared on walls whenever people walks by, customizing themselves to the people that they detect? That’s still coming, although there are some ads in trains in Japan that do something eerily similar today.

Here’s the thing, though. Advertising serves a greater purpose though that just blatantly increasing the signal to noise ratio. A great blog post over at Udemy hits the nail on the head about the truth of advertising, opening with the following:

“At its most basic, advertising is the process of calling the attention of the public to a product or service by a business. More specifically, there’s a desire to manipulate and encourage a target audience into not only desiring a product or service, but to feel a certain way about it and without this product or service, they will lack this feeling.”

Christina Hammet of Demand Media writes on a post at the Houston Chronicle online that there are five reasons (in more or less neat order of important) that advertising is important. These are:

  1. Promotion
  2. Awareness
  3. Comparisons
  4. Retention
  5. Morale

Not every advertiser will use advertising for all of these reasons, with most only focusing on the first two or three, and there are many different ways to perform advertising: word-of-mouth, having a website, using billboards, buying television or radio spots, and even using tee-shirts and hats with logos and brands on them. The list is almost endless.

This also includes the idea of having others help promote your products. Such as using advertising in magazines, running ads on websites, or being listed in directories.

Which is really what this post is about.

OSQ has probably one of the most progressive and comprehensive advertising package deals of any magazine available. Time and effort was taken to create something that is both fair and cost-effective, meshing together and leveraging electronic and traditional print media together in ways that most magazines don’t even attempt without charging a fortune for. In traditional print media advertising is what, in combination with huge print runs and subscriptions, to allow for low cover prices and penetration into target markets. At least in most cases. Certain magazines pride themselves on having high cover prices, and still are advertiser supported. And that advertising costs, but it works according to groups like Magazines Canada, who have issued impressive reports [PDF] that include reasons why magazine advertising works, including:

  • Magazine readers are better educated and have more purchasing power.
  • The average magazine page is viewed 1.7 times.
  • Magazines communicate better than other mediums.
  • Magazines tell the whole story instead of using sound bites.
  • Consumers rate magazines as the most informative medium.
  • Magazines tightly target areas of reader interest and passion.
  • Magazines build relationships between readers and brands.
  • Magazines create a credible message.
  • Readers keep magazines around, creating lasting messages.
  • Magazines generate a response.
  • Magazines generate sales.

Other research has been performed by groups such as the McClatchy Customer Data Center looking at multi-channel advertising (like OSQ provides) and concluding that:

“[i]t’s about understanding how all of your marketing channels are working together and evaluating how they perform against your client’s goals. Being able to show an advertiser what kind of customer is responding to advertising is extremely powerful.”

Just like we acknowledge at OSQ.

Here’s a snapshot of what you get as an advertiser in OSQ:

  • Choose from full page full color (5.5 x 85 inches) ads which costs $100, a half page ad $50, a quarter page ad $25 or others. A two page spread is $200. There are some premium options available as well.
  • The first ad an advertiser places gets a 50% discount on that first ad.
  • Series of ads purchased across multiple issues can get up to another 25% of each of those ads, making your first ad up to 75% off!
  • You get a free banner ad at the OSQ website that runs for the quarter the ad is inserted.
  • You also get a free banner ad at the OSRToday website during the same time, giving cross-promotion.
  • Ads from each issue on the Advertiser Index on the OSQ website, increasing visibility of the ad, and giving them a permanent place online for people to view.
  • All advertisers get a free and complimentary electronic copy of any issue an ad appears in.
  • All ads are hyperlinked and tracked in web and electronic publications, allowing tracking and monitoring to work out how successful they ads are over time.
  • A long-tail approach through OSQ using POD and electronic publishing meaning your ads aren’t just effective for a short window. They promote, make aware, and retain customers over the long term.
  • No limited territories for publication or selling because of electronic and POD publishing. A global economy demands a global approach.
  • Insertion into the retail market as stores can purchase OSQ through distribution.
  • The readership chooses the format of the magazine that’s right for them, meaning that your ad STILL gets in front of them whether they choose electronic or print (and if they get print they get both through our Digital+ Program)

Small press publishers and creators often ask the same questions about advertising as mid-range and upper-range ones do: can I afford to do advertising ?

Cory Doctorow, talking about obscurity in the arts said in a blog post at Publishers Weekly:

“But here’s the thing about fame: although it’s hard to turn fame into money in the arts, it’s impossible to turn obscurity into money in the arts. It doesn’t matter how you plan on making your money … you won’t get the chance unless people have heard of your stuff.”

So the question you REALLY should be asking is: can I afford NOT to advertise?

Why not take a look at the advertising options that OSQ is offering and see what it can do for you? Issue Zero still has space available for advertisers, large or small, corporations or single creators. If you’re involved in creating content or products for old school games or gamers, OSQ is the venue for you.

And if you’re willing to create content for OSQ as well, we offer the Content Creator program that allows you to offset advertising costs by using income from submissions to be put towards your advertising costs.

Contact us today.

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