Jamie Lee Gives More a Lift
In a mailbox full of voucher formats, More magazine's colorful 9" x 9" acquisitions package, with its focus on both editorial content and offer, always stands out. In July, this package separated itself from the crowd even more by giving a new face to that publishing stalwart, the lift note (203MOREMA0704X).
For three years, More's very successful control package (see "Speaking Your Prospects' Emotional Language," November 2000) featured the same lift note: an 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" folded, uncoated letter from the More staff. But when More magazine featured Jamie Lee Curtis au naturelin a sports bra and spandex shorts, without hair and makeupthe overwhelming press and reader response (the number of Internet hits it received actually shut down the magazine's Web site) told Ellen De Lathouder, vice president, creative services at Meredith Publishing Corp., which publishes More, that she and her team had found a new and unique way to relate to their readers.
"We looked at it and thought that she had become an icon for how strongly women feel and how they are tired of apologizing for their bodies," recounts De Lathouder. "We thought that we would slice that story out and have it represent the real side of women. [Curtis'] honesty, her authenticity, these are really strong attributes in our reader, the woman who seeks out More magazine and reads it and renews it."
And so slice it they did, using images of Curtis and a glossy stock to give the 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" folded note a new look. The front of the lift note shows Curtis being made into her glamorous alter-ego by three makeup, hair and clothing designers, accompanied by the teaser, "glam Jamie, the perfect Jamie ... it's such a fraud." On the interior, the "real" Curtis appears as she did in her recent More cover storysports bra, unflattering lighting and allwith the quote, "The more I like me, the less I want to pretend to be other people."
But this package, De Lathouder is quick to point out, is not about Curtis' star power or the typical celebrity endorsement. "Jamie Lee is not just a star; it's not just a voyeuristic story. She's kind of an icon for that audacious confidence that women have. And I mean audacious in the most wonderful sense of it. ... It mirrors the spirit of our reader and the reader we want," she says.
The package also weaves Curtis and her "audacious" spirit into the brochure as well, featuring Curtis' magazine cover to complement and reinforce the message of the lift note. "They seem to work together," says De Lathouder.
The Curtis-themed note, which More began testing in June 2003 and rolled out the following December, handily beat the hard-working, three-year-old lift note control, making a successful package even stronger. This reinforces something the folks at More already knew: "What we've found over the years, is that the lift note is really important," says Liz Bredeson, group consumer marketing director at Meredith. "Because [customers] are really reading it. And it needs to stay very current."