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FamilyFun raises readership, ad pages

Disney Publishing Worldwide’s FamilyFun magazine has posted increases in readership and ad pages this year.

Ad pages at FamilyFun have grown 7.4% from January-October this year over the same period last year. Catering to women with kids still at home, particularly kids aged 3-12, FamilyFun attracts advertisers looking to reach moms and families. The biggest advertiser in the glossy is Kraft foods. Other consumer packaged goods, direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertisers and automotive imports also have a large presence.

“A lot of women say they get information from friends and peers, but the magazine has always had that voice in its pages,” said Mary Beth Wright, publisher of FamilyFun. “That kind of feel that the readers get is what advertisers want. Advertisers today are just doing everything they can to resonate with consumers. There are so many media options available, and I think that for FamilyFun we’ve had a really great engagement story with our readers.”

The magazine uses a research tool called Vista to measure how well readers engage with advertisements. Wright reports that 57% of FamilyFun readers took at least one action as a result of seeing an ad in the magazine.

The Disney Media Sales and Marketing Group, created in February 2006, combines sales and marketing across Disney’s magazines, radio, cable television and online holdings, and many advertisers buy across all platforms. Open rate in FamilyFun is $149,000 for a full-page color ad.

Since Spring 2007, the parenting magazine’s total adult audience has risen 8.5%, topping out at 5.1 million. The rate base holds steady at 2 million, with no plans to increase in the near future.

“We’re seeing growth in our audience reach as the result of some strategies we took about 2 years ago,” explained Sean O’Connell, director of consumer marketing for FamilyFun and Wondertime magazines at Disney Publishing Worldwide. “That’s partly due to the success of the Web site, which is very popular and also tremendous audience that wants to give gifts and go mom-to-mom.” He went on to explain that the company’s focus is around viral marketing and going “mom-to-mom.”

The gift business, O’Connell says, has been growing every year. FamilyFun also deploys direct mail campaigns for acquisition. The editorial team develops the creative for these direct pieces, which are particularly successful during the holidays. Walt Disney Company keeps a database of 70 million names, which FamilyFun mines for prospects. The magazine also uses external databases and purchased lists. It publishes 10 times per year.

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