By: Jennifer Owens

Magazine ‘To Bring Cat To the Masses’

by Jennifer Owens

(Adweek IQ) It’s one thing when a tech title like Wired tries to
introduce readers to new hardware; quite another when Parade,
with nearly a 60-year history and an 80-million circulation, tries

But that’s exactly what the weekly publication did with its Sept.
10 issue, showcasing its partnership with Dallas-based
DigitalConvergence, makers of :CueCat, a bar-code-reading device
that consumers can use to jump from print ads to advertiser Web

‘Given that our editorial tone is a conversation with America, we
feel we’ve now extended the conversation and can go digital with
it,’ says Joan Sheridan LaBarge, senior vice president of sales
and marketing for Parade Publications.

Adweek IQ Why did Parade want to introduce Cats to its readers?

LaBarge: When you think about it, Forbes and Wired [the first
publications to introduce Cat] are going after the early adopters,
and Adweek [which follows in October] is going after a key business
market. Parade’s role is to bring the Cat to the masses … Radio
Shack is the distributor of Cats to the general public. By the end
of year, Radio Shack and DigitalConvergence will have distributed
10 million Cats, and by the end of the second quarter next year,
50 million Cats will be in distribution.

IQ: How are you promoting Cats?

LaBarge: We look at the whole project in three phases: the education
phase, the launch phase and the expansion phase. Really, in the
education phase, which is what we’re in right now, we need to
educate the general public about DigitalConvergence. So starting
with the Aug. 27 issue, it was in our ‘Inside.com’ column, where
our writer … talked to readers about the technology, where they
could get it and how they could use it. We will continue to plant
these educational feeds leading up to Sept. 10, when the cues will
be in the magazine.

We also have advertisers coming on board in the early stages
[including Radio Shack, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Buena Vista Home Entertainment] and then we’ll be in the launch phase, where we’ll
be building critical mass in November and December. Then come 2001,
we’re there and we’re into our expansion phase.


(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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