Out & about: Sharp hones its Book for Men

MiC catches up with Contempo Media's Michael La Fave as the company celebrates the release of the latest issue of the premium newsstand product.

The venue was appropriately swanky and the drinks flowing Tuesday night as Canadian men’s magazine Sharp celebrated the launch of its second biannual newsstand product, The Book for Men.

The Book for Men is, as its publisher Contempo Media describes it, a ‘hybrid men’s magazine, style guide and how-to manual.’ Printed on premium paper and featuring thick glossy coverstock, the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of the book is over 200 pages, including ‘The Manual,’ a section featuring product listings and fashion tips, printed on different stock and made to resemble an old-fashioned catalogue.

The Spring/Summer 2011 issue marks Sharp‘s expansion into the Quebec market with the debut of the French-language version of the magazine, Le Guide pour Hommes.

The Book for Men and Le Guide pour Hommes were created to offer a ‘premium environment’ for Canadian advertisers looking to target young, professional urban males aged 25 to 54, Michael La Fave, editorial and creative director, Contempo Media, tells MiC, adding that Contempo saw the French-language market as especially underserved in this area.

‘It became apparent that there were certain advertisers that required a different approach than Sharp magazine, something much more highly targeted,’ explains La Fave. ‘There are advertisers out there at the higher end of the market who lack a lot of good platforms to reach high networth and mass affluent Canadians, especially men.’

Ad opps in the magazine are traditional for print, but the strict aesthetic of the book, as well as its narrow focus, allow for more creativity in executions, he explains further. Citing Italian beer Peroni as an example, he says the brand chose to support its DPS in the book’s upfront luxury well with a DPS leading into the on-model fashion section to better target sartorially savvy readers. Audi, on the other hand, bought bookending DPSs in the inside front and inside back of the book, a strategy he says the brand would be unlikely to employ in Sharp‘s monthly edition.

Advertisers unique to The Book for Men include Louis Vuitton, Peroni and Bell & Ross, as well as high-fashion and watch brands that don’t appear in the monthly Sharp book. ‘This has definitely grown our advertising base,’ La Fave says.

Rates for The Book are about 50% more than Sharp monthly, a difference due mainly to CPM pricing since The Book for Men is lower circ, says John McGouran, publisher, Contempo Media. Ad rates include both English and French editions.

The Book for Men is distributed primarily through newsstands, as well as a handful of selected retail partners and has a circulation of 50,000 (40,000 English and 10,000 French). The Fall/Winter 2011 issue hits newsstands Sept. 19.