The Message IS the Bottle

perfumeThe post office is going to love this one. Some 400,000 subscribers to Elle, Marie Claire, Seventeen and Cosmopolitan are about to receive the November issues of these magazines, each poly-bagged with a sample-size tube of Marc Jacobs Daisy or Daisy Eau So Fresh perfumes. This is thought to be the first time that bottles of perfume have been attached to magazines. “The technology just didn’t exist,” Michael Clinton, president-marketing and publishing director of Hearst Magazines, told Ad Age.

While scent-peddlers have been jamming their products into magazines for years, it’s always been in some compressed format that’s exuded more of a tacky image than a luxurious one. Much, of course, will hinge on the design of these new bottles.

Whatever they look like, cosmetics and toiletries have been one of the few bright spots in magazine ad revenues in recent years. In the first half of 2013, the number of ad pages for these products climbed 3.3%, even as ad pages as a whole declined.

Allowing advertisers to actually include samples of their products with the magazines can only increase that appeal. As Clinton joyfully points out, “Until you get a scratch and sniff on your smartphone, magazine media has a unique selling proposition to allow samples.”

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