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DrBoost
DrBoost Reader
5/7/09 11:20 a.m.

OK, this is a seriuos question, not an underhanded dig at GRM-because I think GRM is the best pub out there, hands-down! When I flip through any mag today (I read at least 10 a month) I notice there aren't many pages where there is a full page dedicated to the article I'm reading. Maybe the bottom 1/4 or the right margine is an ad. I don't think the "major" players do this as much (i.e. road and track, car and driver, motor trend) but others are pretty bad. When I read GRM I would guess not much more than 1/2 the page space is actually an article (I'm not including the classifieds, or the TOC here). I don't think there is a single page devoted entirely to an article. Let me say this first; I'm glad your ads are at least automotive related, something I might actually WANT to see for a change. But, could you reduce the ads by say, 20% allowing 30% more articles and raise the susb price by ??%? I'd be more than happy to pay $20 a year for 1/2 the ads and more articles. Again, I'm sure there will be folks that skim over this post and rip on me for ripping on you so let me say this. I"m not unhappy with GRM, it's more of a question about ad space vs. the actual cost to produce a mag?

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
5/7/09 11:26 a.m.

Actually, I have noticed GRM stages their ads quite well.

You read an article about a BMW, then you get three or four ads for BMW stuff. You then read an article about tire testing with a Mazdaspeed 3, you get some ads for tires and Mazda. Then you read an article about Per and you get ads for traction additive and mustache wax.

I like the current system.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
5/7/09 11:34 a.m.

One of the reasons you will find ads placed within articles is because they are more effective when run next to editorial content. You noticed the ads didn't you?

When we sell advertising space, we want to make sure the client buying that space has the best possible results. We do try to put appropriate ads near relevant editorial content. This is why you will find ads for garage flooring near the story that covers this.

It is always a balancing act between editorial content and advertising revenue. We need to keep the magazine enjoyable to read, and we need to keep subscription costs reasonable to attract new readers. We also need the ad revenue to keep our doors open.

We do try to make sure the magazines aren't overloaded with ads, but we also try to keep our rates reasonable so the "little" guy can still get the word out.

We do appreciate your comments, and take them to heart. It isn't always easy to sell as much advertising space as we need to, while keeping the magazine fun to read, but we really bust our asses trying to get the right balance.

I've also heard from many readers that they like the ads, and use them as a resource, almost like a catalog of reputable companies.

What do you guys think? Are the ads useful?

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
5/7/09 11:36 a.m.

(This is where you vote up Joes post if you think the ads are useful)

DrBoost
DrBoost Reader
5/7/09 11:53 a.m.

Thanks for the info Joe. It really was info gathering on my part. I don't know the rag or ad business and was just wondering. I did notice how you guys put the ads for honda parts right next to a honda review or something like that. Now John, since you mentioned articles about Per, you had the perfect opportunity to have a little fun (male performance products anyone??) but you didn't. I'm dissapointed in you.

bludroptop
bludroptop UltraDork
5/7/09 11:58 a.m.

Back when I studied Journalism (when linotype was still 'state of the art'), we were taught that the target ratio was 60% advertising - 40% editorial.

I think GRM does an excellent job of ad placement and balance. I also appreciate the fact that the overwhelming majority of ads are tasteful and related to the subject - for example, no boner pill ads.

TR3only
TR3only Reader
5/7/09 12:03 p.m.

I've said it many times here, YES, YES, the ads are great. Please, tell the advertisers that of any "motoring" mag, GRM has THE best cred among folks that will spend money on quality .....items(?). Also, unlike other car mags (ahem, R&T, C&D, M/T), it's appreciated that you DON'T run ads for male enhancing pills, or for that matter, any product that isn't used on a car.

GRM, buy it for the articles/news, but it's also a great source for info on auto products (that includes the "endorsements" for other readers).

P71
P71 Dork
5/7/09 12:03 p.m.

I like how GRM positions the ads and I have to admit I've used many companies just because they are (or were) GRM advertisers (Edge Racing, SPS/Solotime, Racing Beat, Falken, and Mazdaspeed off the top of my head).

In fact you guys need some more ads so I can has more project car articles to read. Discount Tire Direct, Atkins Rotary, and Superchips come to mind ;)

I do miss the old days of an entire page of article though. I have hundreds of old car mags going back to the 60's and even 10 years ago it was common to see entire pages with no ads. It is funny to see the stacks get progressively "thinner" at each issue as time goes on except for GRM. I like that.

poopshovel
poopshovel SuperDork
5/7/09 12:23 p.m.

I'm sure that it's already been mentioned here, but:

Ads., NOT subscriptions, pay the bills for any publication. I don't think that the ads. take away from the content...certainly nowhere near as much as any and every ricer mag where there are 6 pages of blingy wheel ads per 1 page of content.

The newest issue is one of the best in recent memory, IMO. Tons of useful content. Not a lot of fluff.

mistanfo
mistanfo Dork
5/7/09 12:26 p.m.

I think that the number of ads is just fine. It's not like some of the "rice" magazines that were page after page after page after page of ad content, with little to no editorial. And when there was editorial, it might have well have been listed as "paid advertisement" since every other sentence seemed to have a mnaufacturer's name in it.

Keep up the good work, guys and gals of GRM (even the nice lady that keeps you guys from going overboard with anything, sorry, met you at Christmas, but I'm bloody aweful when it comes to remembering names).

stuart in mn
stuart in mn Dork
5/7/09 12:28 p.m.

I don't have any problems with the ads. They aren't intrusive, and they are pertinent - no teddy bear or pajama ads.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
5/7/09 12:29 p.m.

I can has boner pill ads?

Appleseed
Appleseed HalfDork
5/7/09 12:54 p.m.

Anyone else compare wheel weights to cost in the Tire Rack adds for at least ten minutes each issue?

P71
P71 Dork
5/7/09 1:37 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: Anyone else compare wheel weights to cost in the Tire Rack adds for at least ten minutes each issue?

OT Rant

I'd like Tire Rack a LOT more if they'd start carrying the tires I want to buy (Falken!!!) or the sizes for my car (14"). I may even shop there if they ever bothered to give wheel information specs (like backspacing, bolt pattern, etc). Called them once and was basically told I was SOL on anything for the RX-7, P71, or John's GTO. They had some 20" chromies for the Grand Prix though...

/OT Rant

alfadriver
alfadriver Reader
5/7/09 2:37 p.m.

I like the ads- so nicely directed at YOUR readers. I actually scan the ads for new information and possibly new vendors of stuff (right now, I'm still looking for data acq systems).

Eric

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
5/7/09 2:40 p.m.
DrBoost wrote: I don't think there is a single page devoted entirely to an article.

Huh?

Actually I think we're better than most magazines at mixing the ad content with the editorial stuff and not making it look too hokey. We run about a 50/50 ad/edit ratio, which means that each page of ads is offset by roughly a page of editorial. Since there are a few ad spreads, and the classified section is several pages of ads, this frees up several pages of editorial to be used as pretty photo spreads.

Now, we do have some odd-sized ads in the magazine, like Red Line oil or Koni for example. These are ads that take up most of a page, but not all. We use ads like these to fill in transitional areas of stories since all they can really go next to is words.

Let's take for example the Rally Focus story in the last issue. I see six total pages, only one of which where ads and edit appear on the same page. The rest are either all one, or all the other, and there's even a full edit spread in there.

And thanks for noticing that the ads are placed with some semblance of logic. We actually spend a lot of time putting stuff in places where it seems to make sense. It's nice to know that we actually work for a reason.

jg

poopshovel
poopshovel SuperDork
5/7/09 2:42 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: Anyone else compare wheel weights to cost in the Tire Rack adds for at least ten minutes each issue?

Hilarious. I do that all the time. The words "THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY berkeleying DOLLARS FOR AN ELEVEN POUND WHEEL?" are often heard emanating from the hall bathroom.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
5/7/09 3:58 p.m.
poopshovel wrote:
Appleseed wrote: Anyone else compare wheel weights to cost in the Tire Rack adds for at least ten minutes each issue?

Hilarious. I do that all the time. The words "THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY berkeleying DOLLARS FOR AN ELEVEN POUND WHEEL?" are often heard emanating from the hall bathroom.

Get your hands on Tire Racks REAL wheel catalog...

I use it whenever I am constipated. You know what I mean... First I say it, then I do it.

Appleseed
Appleseed HalfDork
5/7/09 4:00 p.m.

Like the personal debate of: "are SSR 15 x 7 Type C Wheels verses Enkei 15 x 7 RPF1 wheels worth $153 more for a .2 lbs. saving to me?" (The answer is, no, not yet.)

Keith
Keith SuperDork
5/7/09 6:18 p.m.

Most magazines will go after new advertisers when they're running an article that they think is related. We get this all the time: "We're the highest circulation Japanese-only performance magazine in the Atlanta area, and we're doing a 1.6 Miata Time Attack car. We think you need to buy a one-page ad to go beside the article!". Then, of course, once you're on board...

(by the way, every magazine seems to be building a 1.6 Miata Time Attack car. Thank you, GRM, for being a holdout.)

You'll find magazines have a different way of arranging ads as well. Some will put the first page or two of a story at the front, then the rest at the back surrounded by ads, forcing you to flip through the whole magazine to get to the rest of the test. Others will run uninterrupted stories with ads interspersed. I remember talking to the art director for Car and Driver and that's one of the differences between them and R&T.

z31maniac
z31maniac Dork
5/7/09 7:21 p.m.

I think it's a good mix, I really noticed pertinent placement in the last few issues.

Keep up the good work fellas, and Margie.

P71, I just wish Tire Rack took into account enthusiasts that know there fitment needs and would let you search their inventory on bolt pattern/diameter vs just what they say fits a car.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg Dork
5/7/09 8:21 p.m.

I have never found the ads out of place or intrusive and I regularly look for specialist equipment from these hallowed pages. ie: Macs Ties Downs rock

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair Dork
5/7/09 8:58 p.m.

OK, who else drooled over the 13-lb, 15x8" wheel for $109?

confuZion3
confuZion3 Dork
5/7/09 9:10 p.m.

I also think it's a good mix of ads/content. I like the advertisements, they are placed well, and they are all relevant to the genre. Good job, everyone. Good job.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave SuperDork
5/7/09 10:40 p.m.
JG Pasterjak wrote: And thanks for noticing that the ads are placed with some semblance of logic. We actually spend a lot of time putting stuff in places where it seems to make sense. It's nice to know that we actually work for a reason.

Absolutely. It makes for better content for the reader, and more focused prospects for the advertiser. Win-win.

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