Imagine your favorite show. Now imagine your favorite character from that show. Then imagine sitting at home, bored, watching the show you watch before your favorite show. All of the sudden you spot the same favorite character from your favorite show on this show. You then begin watching this new, previously unappealing show and discover it isn’t so bad after all. Soon, you begin watching it regularly.
The explanation for this occurrence is a method referred to as crossover episodes. This is a popular method among television networks and series that aims to stimulate ratings, as viewers are encouraged to watch cast members from one show turn up on another.
Now, this crossover concept is transcending television and entering the world of print. According to NY Times, Food Network Magazine and HGTV Magazine are practicing this method. Basically, instead of exchanging cast members, they will be exchanging front covers. In addition, they will feature coordinated three-page gatefolds, video clips, and share articles relating to the each other’s objective. For example, the Food Network Magazine will be supplying recipes for delicious cookies and cupcakes while HGTV provides tips on décor.
Another example is this print advertorial by sponsor, Pure Leaf, with the headline “For the Love of Entertaining.” The advertorial is three pages long and is complemented by adjacent one-page regular advertisements for Pure Leaf. This campaign branches from the brand’s current campaign with the theme, “For the love of leaves,” created by Anomaly.
This crossover idea is an innovating attempt for magazines to improve their marketing plans and engage more readers. It is also an example of how magazines are joining forces to rise above preferred mediums, such as television.
I think this new print method of crossover episodes puts magazines at a high advantage for perspective advertisers. Not everyone who subscribes to HGTV has a subscription to the Food Network Magazine, but this crossover method causes a flow of readership between the two. Paying for an advertising spot in one magazine, could lead to double exposure. That means more impressions and a farther reach.
Hopefully more brands will begin utilizing this technique. What do you think?
Elliot, Stuart. (2014, April 8) “Magazines Coordinate Their Content in Version of TV’s Crossover Episodes” NY Times. Retrieved