FamilyFun turns new page with makeover

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FamilyFun magazine, a brand aimed to make the most out of a busy family's time together, has done an arts and crafts project on itself - a redesign.

The Disney Publishing Worldwide title debuted a new logo and fresh editorial features with its February issue. The changes follow last year's major redesign, which introduced cleaner graphics, bolder photographs and a more streamlined approach to editorial content.

"The visual element is the key," said Jonathan Adolph, editor of FamilyFun, New York. "It's like a book where we blend how-to stuff with an integrated experience of sitting and reading."

FamilyFun targets families with children ages 3 to 12. The 16-year-old publication has a rate base of 2 million. It publishes 10 times a year and costs $3.95 on the newsstand.

Last month, Walt Disney Co. merged its advertising sales and promotions teams for its family-focused media properties. The newly integrated sales structure, Disney Media Advertising Sales and Marketing Group, lets one team drive all advertising sales and marketing and promotions business. The unification is in response to the significant number of people who turn to the Internet for entertainment.

"We can do surveys now, which is an incredible tool for editorial," Mr. Adolph said. "People can opt-in to send us ideas and it's easier than the old days, because it would take much longer to receive information and pictures."

The magazine reports that 30 percent of readers log on to after reading the printed edition.

"The Internet allows us to give readers more, but at the same time instructions are meant to be laid out with photographs and not read on a computer, so I don't think print will ever become irrelevant," Mr. Adolph said.

FamilyFun has also produced a digital flip-through magazine for those children who cannot yet read but can visually understand content. Five times a year the title produces a special demographic section for children ages 1 to 3. This special feature attracts different advertisers to place ads.

According to the Publishers Information Bureau, FamilyFun saw a 12 percent increase in total ad revenue and a 9 percent increase in advertising pages in the first quarter of this year, when compared to the same quarter in 2006.

New business wins include Nissan, Orbitz, Welch's, Church & Dwight and Hormel. A full-page four-color ad currently costs $141,905.

Kraft remains as FamilyFun's largest advertiser.

FamilyFun does not accept any liquor, feminine hygiene or tobacco ads. It aims to include ads that can be shared by mothers and their children.

"Our mission is to be clued into what's best for the reader and our marketers appreciate that," Ms. Wright said. "It creates a positive environment and while it exposes kids to popular media, it also allows parents to shelter their kids from that and not have to worry."

The magazine also developed several integrated programs such as Kellogg's Rice Krispies' "Childhood is Calling" program and Nestle Stouffer Red Box "During Dinner" effort.

"Our marketers have embraced integration, so all of our media needs to complement each other," said Mary Beth Wright, publisher of FamilyFun."We recognize that the Internet will be here to stay, so let's embrace it."

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