Friday, December 21, 2012

Time magazine has unveiled its annual 2012 Person of the Year cover. No big surprise. Obama. It also chose him when he won the presidency in 2008.

The 2008 cover featured the Hope/Change illustration. This time, the mood appears much more sombre and serious with the photographic approach of Obama in profile, looking very much like the profile of Lincoln on the American penny. 

Of intetest is the fact that Time changed the trademark red border for this more sober treatment. Something it has done before with its 9/11 issue, and apparently only four times in its history.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I was asked recently, ”If polar bears are to Canadian Geographic what Brad Pitt is to Esquire, what about grizzly and brown bears? Are they like Johnny Depp?”

Good question. Let’s take a look, first at Canadian Geographic, then at British Columbia magazine:

Nov/Dec 2008: Bestseller in 2008. This issue sold 42% more copies than the average of the other five issues that year. Third bestseller ever in the magazine's history.

Nov/Dec 2003: Bestseller in 2003. This issue sold 28% more copies than the average of the other five issues that year.

Mar/Apr 2001: Highest sell-through efficiency (49%) in 2001.

Jan/Feb 1997: Highest sell-through efficiency (46%) in 1997.

Spring 2008: Beat average for the year by 10%. Second best cover that year.

Fall 2004: Beat average for the year by 12%. Second best cover that year.

Summer 2001: Beat average for the year by 30%. Best cover that year.

Summer 1997: Beat average for the year by 8%. Second best cover that year.

And yes, pressing this further, wolves = Angelina Jolie, and cougars = Jennifer Aniston.

Rule #30: If it works, keep doing it.

Rule #20: Be sexy.

Every magazine has its celebrities, who or what are yours?

Friday, December 07, 2012
Last week NOW “referenced” TIME magazine’s classic 'X' cover treatment. This week NOW appears to be “referencing” New York magazine. Appears to be a lot of “referencing” going on

Remember the recent firestorm over Margaret Wente, and her, uh, alleged “plagiarisim” at the Globe and Mail? I guess this just proves that there is a higher (read: double) standard for the Globe and Mail (Wente) and Maclean’s (Bonhomme cover) than there is for NOW. Or perhaps it could be that NOW has become an irrelevant parody of itself.

Check out the similiarities below:

Tuesday, December 04, 2012
The latest cover from NOW magazine sets a new all time low for itself, as if admitting that it is simply not capable of creativity or originality. Anyone that follows magazines (let alone publishes them) knows that TIME magazine has used the simple 'X' template for years.

If NOW claims it didn’t know it was ripping off TIME, don’t believe it. If it did know, then what is it attempting to communicate, beyond the fact that it is out of original ideas and lacks creativity?

Here’s the new NOW 'X' cover compared with TIME's:

Rob Ford may be foolish, but he’s no Adolf Hitler. Ford doesn’t have the Holocaust on his resume. But NOW knows no boundaries. Too bad it just proved how much it needs attention, now that The Grid has become the talk of the town. NOW really is yesterday’s fish wrap.
About Me
Scott Bullock

Scott Bullock is the the creator of Bullock has worked as circulation director for both consumer and B2B magazines including Toronto Life and FASHION. If you have a great cover to share, please send all submissions to 

Note to readers: some of Bullock's posts may refer to his clients.
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Any news on how it performed on newsstands?...
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