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Launch of Women's Health - one of the most successful magazine launches in South Africa

The launch of Women's Health SA in 2009 caused a stir in the publishing industry. Not only because magazine titles were getting skinnier, or worse closing down, with ad budgets being slashed in the wake of the recession, but also because Touchline Media launched the first multi-platform brand. Women's Health is much more than a magazine.
Launch of Women's Health - one of the most successful magazine launches in South Africa
Despite industry pessimism, Gullan&Gullan Advertising leaped at the opportunity to be part of the team of communications and media service providers who assisted Touchline Media with the launch of Women's Health

The brief
The brief was to create awareness of the Women's Health brand as a multi-platform offering - a website, magazine, mobile applications, bookazines, DVDs, events and more. One of the most important objectives was to entice the target market into interacting with the brand using the full 360º communication channels, namely above the line, below the line with a strong online push. “Our most important objective was to launch the brand, not just the magazine,” said Touchline Media Group Publisher, Desiré du Plessis, “and the various collaborating teams worked well to achieve this in an integrated manner.”

The target market
Primary - Affluent women ages 25 - 40
Secondary - Media planners, buyers and brand ambassadors

Multi-platform solutions
The multi-platform brand required a multi-platform launch and Gullan&Gullan delivered a brand-centric™ 360º campaign that communicated the Women's Health brand mantra - “It's Good To Be You!”. This brand positioning was supported by the Women's Health service style editorial pillars, namely, health, fitness, nutrition & weight loss, sex & relationships, beauty & style and career & finance.

Together with the hands-on brand team at Touchline Media and Gullan&Gullan conceptualised, developed and executed two separate campaigns tailored to the two target markets. The campaign consisted of three phases,
Phase 1 - tease
Phase 2 - push to the website
Phase 3 - push to instore
Phase 4 - ongoing subscription drive.

The 360º channels included,
Online - banner campaign and direct email campaign
Above the line - print and outdoor
Below the line - POS and media packs
Mobile - SMS and MMS.

The brand was also launched via 30-second television commercial that was produced in-house by the Touchline Media team.

The rollout
Another first. Women's Health made history by launching their website prior to the magazine. The website went live on 9 September 2009, followed by on-shelf magazines on 21 October 2009. The aim was to get users interacting with the brand online to encourage subscriptions to the magazine and return visits to the site once the magazine was available. The email campaign was designed to drive traffic to the site by offering titbits of the magazine in a digital format.

The solid results
Women's Health sold 61 476 copies of its launch issue in October 2009. The website had over 28 000 unique users in November 2009. In January 2010, the magazine had secured an impressive 3 319 subscribers. A testament to a powerful launch campaign that made use of multi-dimensional brand-centric™ communications.

“It's a solid start in a very competitive market and we're thrilled that readers have responded in such a positive way to the brand. Clearly the magazine's bold, fresh approach has resonated with women looking to improve every aspect of their lives and we'll continue to build on this success both in the pages and online,” said Jason Brown, editorial director across the Rodale-Touchline titles including Women's Health, Men's Health, Runner's World and Bicycling.

The 360º brand-centric™ approach
By understanding the Women's Health brand and its values and applying these values to all touch points, Gullan&Gullan ensured that the brand's core values were expressed in a congruent, consistent manner at every touch point. These successfully communicated values guaranteed the success of the Women's Health launch.
For more about Gullan&Gullan's visit www.gullanandgullan.com or call +27 11 887 6591.

1 Mar 2010 10:30