Canadian Living gets new look, fresh approach

P&G's Olay invests in 18-page inventory takeover of special beauty section as the magazine celebrates its 35th anniversary with a new look and cross-platform promotion.

Thirty-five might not be an age that some people look forward to, but Canadian Living magazine is approaching the milestone with multimedia gusto.

The venerable Canadian magazine, which had a total paid and verified circulation in the second half of 2009 of 515,357, is celebrating its 35th year in business with a March issue featuring a new look, new ad executions and a focus on growing its cross-platform properties.

The refreshed brand image debuted with the magazine’s first-ever double cover execution, featuring a standard ‘food’ cover on the front featuring the new logo, and a very un-standard second cover on the back featuring a model and promoting a special Olay-sponsored beauty section inside. The Procter & Gamble execution is an 18-page, beauty-themed editorial section with exclusive ad domination by Olay, another first for the mag.

An anniversary contest offers viewers the chance to win 35 different prizes over 35 days. The goal of the contest is to only do something special to promote the anniversary, but to build the magazine’s mobile database (and fanbase) as well, with a mobile extension offering people the chance to win additional prizes by texting the word ‘inspired’ to a short code. The contest is promoted through all Canadian Living properties, including its 900,000-strong email database.

In the coming months, the magazine also plans to launch new social media strategies on its website (which received an average of 860,000 UMVs, according to ComScore) focused on getting readers to contribute content and opinions to the site.

All of this is designed to enhance consumer engagement with the brand, which Canadian Living group publisher Lynn Chambers says is the magazine’s greatest asset in a multimedia world.

‘With this new attitude – because we’ve really upped the personality of the brand – the one thing that we’re really strategically doing is acting as a facilitator to connect our audience across their areas of interest,’ she tells MiC.

‘We have an audience that really cares about new products, and food and family. All the things that are important to them, our brand revolves around – the stuff that really matters in life. We have a natural opportunity that I see to be a facilitator. If we build the audience and build this unique engagement, the advertisers will want to partner with us to do some really fun and creative executions.’

Recently Canadian Living also partnered with CBC on the TV show Best Recipes Ever