Paper Magazine used a clever strategy to promote its printed magazine - social media!
Founded and launched in 1984, Paper magazine is a New York City-based independent magazine focusing on fashion, pop-culture, nightlife, music, art and film. Its readership is around 155,000 with 70% of its readers located in New York and Los Angeles. The Paper Magazine’s website has around 500,000 unique visitors per month.
To attract more readers, it came up with a clever strategy – use archenemy the Internet to make a splash. The mag hired Jean-Paul Goude, the French photographer famous for his iconic shots of Grace Jones for a provocative photo shoot. It also enlisted the services of KKW for two reasons: (1) her online presence includes 25 million twitter followers and roughly the same number on Instagram, (2) she has no problem at all baring it all for the camera.
Goude shot Kardashian in several stages of undress – starting with her being fully-dressed in exactly the same pose as Grace Jones in her famous champagne glass photo, and ending with a full frontal nude pic.
Paper Magazine published the shots as part of its “Break the Internet” campaign, stating: "For our winter issue, we gave ourselves one assignment: Break The Internet. There is no other person that we can think of who is up to the task than one Kim Kardashian West. A pop culture fascination able to generate headlines just by leaving her house, Kim is what makes the web tick."
The strategy worked, resulting in hundreds of thousands of tweets, global online coverage, and discussed on various morning shows on TV.
Paper Magazine knows its stuff. In order not to oversell, the mag limits its racy version of the issue (including all KKW"s pics) to just 10,000 copies. Retailers and subscribers who want to get their hands on it, must purchase it online (oh, the irony) via the Paper Magazine website.
The magazine also announced that it will be producing more "event" covers, so stay tuned! Ironically enough, online exposure has done wonders for Paper Magazine.
As Drew Elliott stated: "We wanted to use this [cover] to help establish ourselves digitally. We never could have imagined that it would be this successful."
The main question remains – will Paper Magazine be able to create more provoking campaigns? Now that they have built a worldwide audience, the powers at Paper Magazine need to remain creative to maintain its loyal audience and customer base. If not, it will remain an amusing footnote in online marketing history.
(Image courtesy of Kelkulus)