November 9, 2013

Magazine portfolios not too worried about layoffs at Sanoma

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 10:04 am

Magazine publishing giants Sanoma is laying off 500 Dutch employees and shunting 2,000 freelancers, as well as considering axing or merging some of their less popular publications, some of which used to be big names in the Dutch weekly scene such as Panorama, Nieuwe Revu, Playboy and Marie Claire.

I thought it would be interesting to see what is happening to the leesmaps, magazine portfolios where for the subscription rate of about a single weekly magazine you get a whole bunch of them. The catch being you only get to keep the magazines for a week, then they move on to the next customer who pays a slightly lesser rate, and so on, until the commercial potential of the folder of magazines is exhausted. Hairdressers and doctors love leesmaps for their waiting rooms.

Does such a concept even exist outside the Netherlands? In a 2011 interview with Volkskrant, Audax founder Jacques de Leeuw claimed he invented the concept as a 17-year-old when delivering magazines that his father imported, placing the introduction of leesmaps in 1950. An unlikely story considering that the Lité Leesmap was already advertising in the 1940s in De Leeuw’s home town of Tilburg.

Leesmaps have been in decline for years. At the height of their popularity there were a million leesmap subscribers in the Netherlands, but in 2007 that number dwindled to 300,000. Still it doesn’t seem the Sanoma cutbacks will mean much of a loss to the leesmaps. To the latter, the magazines that get the axe already formed the dead wood. The question is how symbiotic the relation between the unpopular magazines and the leesmaps was. Weeklies like Panorama and Nieuwe Revu may even have been able to extend their death rattle a little longer because they were still ‘popular’ in the leesmaps.

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May 31, 2011

Dutch beer ads with Playboy bunnies and famous guys

Filed under: Fashion,Food & Drink,General by Orangemaster @ 10:39 am

Bavaria beer ads on Dutch television currently feature two commercials with Mickey Rourke (see one below) playing upon his reputation as a major drinker. Besides the usual reasons for putting Americans in Dutch commercials, including sexing up your product, appealing to the youth and trying to be more international, Bavaria does sell 65% of its beer abroad, so it has good reasons for using heavy hitters. Although not a huge brand in the Netherlands, Bavaria is apparently sold in more than 120 countries and was caught up in controversy during the World Cup in South Africa 2010 with its Dutch dresses. The dresses were seen as advertising another beer brand than the main sponsor and some good looking blondes wearing the dresses got arrested, a fantastic marketing moment in retrospect.

I guess I like the Rourke ones better for the simple reason that the Dutch don’t censor English swear words no matter what time the ads come on television.

Here’s a funny Dutch ad with Snoop Dogg and Dutch singer Marco Borsato (a family man Neil Diamond, schmaltzy but much more ‘modern’) that anyone outside the Netherlands couldn’t have seen. It’s about having some choice when choosing a mobile phone, from a few years back.


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