retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

There are headlines that I never expected to see, but this is one of them ... and it ran in the Wall Street Journal this week:

Sports Illustrated Tries to Add Horsepower to Swimsuit Issue

It seems that over the past few years, as the lure of seeing provocatively clad (or almost clad) women on the world’s most beautiful beaches has dulled because there are so many other options available, the legendary swimsuit issue has been losing advertisers, who want more for their money than just pages of advertising.

And so, Sports Illustrated is trying different approaches - producing television specials, offering interactive options, and providing cross-merchandising opportunities to sponsors.

According to the story, “This year, print ads will account for just 55% of the revenue generated by the swimsuit edition. Another 30% will come from digital initiatives, with the balance coming from so-called experiential marketing, which lets consumers interact directly with a sponsor's products or services at an event. As a sponsor for this year's issue, for example, Sony over its PlayStation network and other channels will distribute 3-D video and more than 12 hours of current and archival footage of swimsuit-issue photo shoots.”

This is a good lesson for any marketer - that there is no such thing anymore as an “evergreen” business, and we all have to stay ahead of the curve, looking for the weaknesses in our own businesses and compensating for them with innovations that will keep us fresh and new.

And that’s our Friday Eye-Opener - that sometimes even girls in and out of bathing suits aren’t enough to guarantee marketing success.

Go figure.
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