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Saturday, December 30, 2006

My Mobile: This may be a blank call

Hi Friends,

All of sudden, one starts realizing that he has got enough information about a particular domain and he starts feeling strong urge to share it with others, and then he publishes a magazine to quench his thirst.

Result…?? Launch of poor magazine like- "India Mobile". Editorially- just a clueless and design wiz- absolutely pathetic, monthly magazine which is published & edited by Pradeep Shinde.

Despite of being a consumer magazine, it is carrying B2B kind of cover story and that too in its inaugural issue!! Poorly done product reviews are presented badly. Same is with other articles like- game reviews, features, tips, add-ons etc…all are disconnected to the reality.

I can't see any reason, why would this magazine be appreciated by any mobile phone buyer and that too a 52 page magazine at cover price of Rs.50?? No way!

I would like to mention its only competitor and just 9 months old, India's first mobile genre magazine- "My Mobile". At the same cover price, its well conceived, thoughtfully structured and neatly presented magazine..And its doing quite well (news stand vendors say so…:).

Let's see, "India Mobile" improves itself or it loses the signal and becomes unavailable ;-)

Further, since its year ending, there are lots of special issues of various magazines are lying on news stands. "Business Today" is celebrating 15th anniversary, "Cosmopolitan" has come with a bulky special issue this month and that’s it!

I think this would be my last posting for this year. I wish that next year will bring lots of new magazines, special editions, innovations, excitements to us.

A very Happy & Prosperous New Year to you and your family!



Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Double Silver Jubilee celebrations in this week

Hi Friends,

"The Week" & "Business World" are celebrating their 25th anniversary in this week and come up with Giant issues- "Double Issue" and "25 years of Business" respectively.

BW is carrying the cover story- "In 25 years…" where they looked back over last 25 years of changing faces of Indian business, problems & solutions and economy. Well, it becomes very easy to create such a compilation of last years when you have a huge bank of your previous issues (the way BW had 25 years or 52 weeks' issues per years) on the other hand it fails also to structure the complied content to build a nicely crafted and focused issue. It gets lost the direction of what they want to build up in this issue. Same I could feel while I was going through its three pages long editorial (written by Mr. Tony Joseph) where he sometimes talks about the BW product itself, sometimes he talks about the evolving business and sometimes he gets lost in talking about his personal moves and achievements. Well, it is justified to talk about the product on this eventful occasion.

172 pages big Silver jubilee issue of BW (at the regular cover price of Rs.10) has covered rather picked all the highlights from their previous issues. For a glance it gives you a nice feeling of remembering those golden moments through old pages of BW once again, but nothing else. But yes, it is good to have a glance now if you have missed them in their time. (

The Week's double volume issue 172 + 100 pages in total is comparatively a great compilation and its presented in a good way that each picked up looks like an independent and new article itself along with the support of time-line facts.

Volume 1 of TW has "Great Indian Renaissance" as cover story which is started with an opening note by PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh and covering almost every important sector where India has left noticeable impact in last 25 years. It includes Nuclear, Globliasation, Consumer activism, Space, Judiciary, Economy, Pharma, Beauty business & fashion, Sports, Automobiles, Media & Literature and IT & Telecom also. Mr. P Chidambaram, Mr. Milton Friedman, Mr. Uday Kotak, Mr. Aziz Premji and Mr. Mukesh Ambani also have contributed there columns in this issue.

Volume 2 of the same issue is carrying "25 ways to improve your life in 2007" by Sri Sri Ravishankar on the cover. The same volume is also carrying the most poignant moment from History as well as forecast for 2007.

In all, this double issue is worth to go through and that too at regular cover price of Rs. 15.


G.S. Virdi

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Haute: Just another life style magazine!

Hi Friends,

Just came across another life style magazine- HAUTE…no no…its niether Haute Living nor Haute Dolls nor Haute Handbags… its a quarterly publication of haute media pvt ltd. and edited by ex-model and page 3 face- Queenie Dhody.

Haute is targeting to the premium class of society and will be catering jewellery trends (hmmmm…evreybody, now a days has eye on gems & jewllery industry), fashion and luxury, lifestyle and events. In the inaugural issue- Sep-Nov06- miss world Lara dutta was first cover girl and the issue was published in association with DTC- Diamond Trading Company and that's why issue is also carrying a welcome note by MD- DTC- Cherie Tandon Saldahna.

At a glance, this broad sized magazine gives me a mix feeling to like and dislike it. I like the wide range of articles/write-ups/feature they have put in the first issue- 34 plus and that too within 144 pages only (including ads). Its gives a feel of lots of reading material for a reader but obviously the kind of paper and content-pictures they have, they could do better production and design-layout also. In some articles it's done beautifully but in some articles it's inconsistent. May be, it's because of the first issue and they don’t have any proper style sheet yet.

Let's see with the next issues. Till then, you can share your views on the same.

Further, I have also got a glance of just-another-life-style-magazine on a new stand- HOT, yes it's HOT. It's again a quarterly magazine, I think at the cover price of Rs200 or Rs300 (I don’t remember right now). I saw it on a news stand but I could buy that time and now I cant find it. Its carrying one plain, completely plain orange cover and big HOT is written on the cover..That's it.

Has anybody got this issue and want to share it?



Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Multiple cover blunder!

Hi Friends,

It may be a good idea of publishing an issue with different covers for different TG sometimes, but it must be well thought, well calculated and well executed. Do you remember one of my mails in which I have mentioned the goofup in the Spine of MAXIM India. They had repeated the previous month’s spine in the next months cover. It wasn’t a small mistake because due to this mistake their complete plan for the year went into the drain.

It can be even more serious if you do such a silly mistake with the cover and cover story itself. Believe me, it happened with ‘Good Housekeeping’ in April 2006, when they were trying to test with two different Master heads on the same issue, with different treatment, with different color schemes for the logos, lower case-upper case etc… And it wasn’t end of the story.. they went one step ahead and they changed the cover story also. And obviously they needed to change cover model accodringly, where they put a dog’s picture in the place of Geena Devis’s picture.

And mind it, these ‘experimental’ changes were limited upto cover only…rest of the entire magazine was remained same…

…and that was the blunder!

In the content pages, on the page number 5 of the magazine, they had a caption- “On the Cover” refering to Geena and her make-up etc, while in fact few of copies were carrying a pritty dog’s picture on the cover!!

Cover with regular mast head v/s Two colors & lowercase

Cover with a dog's piture & the cover story with the wrong cover

(Source of cover images: )

So friends, be 110% careful about such sily mistakes which can set an example for others to learn:-)



Different cover for the different person

Hi Friends,

Its in the continuation of my last post about split covers, Redbook also changes its cover for different reader. And the change will depend upon various things like, the geographical area, where do you live in the country, whether you are a news stand buyer or a subscriber, whether you want to buy low price edition and so on…

Below is one example of the same where Redbook is available with four different covers. One had a flap on the cover with a few extra cover lines… One for the one dollar less price from the rest buyers…one was the traditional look at $2.99..

Regardless of reader’s choice, there is plenty on the cover of the magazine for him to pick from, but be careful, if he subscribes, he will lose sex from the cover. As a subscriber, the sex cover line changes to love.

Rest assured the inside of all four different magazines is exactly the same…including the missing sex from the cover of the subscribers' edition :)

News Stand Copy (with SEX) & Subscriber's Copy (with LOVE)

Left Flap (Extra stories) & Low Cover Price Edition

(Source of images: )



Multiple covers for the same issue

Hi Friends,

Publishers are trying double or Triple or Quadruple covers to attract news stand buyers. More and More magazines are going for this approach of giving multiple covers to the readers in the hopes that-
1. at least any of the cover will appeal to someone OR
2. someone will buy more than one cover with the same content ;-)

By the way, the magazine holding the record for the number of split covers for the same issue is TV Guide with their Star Trek 35th anniversary issue. That week they had 35 different covers.

Here are a few examples of such issues:

Entertainment Weekly (5 Covers)

Fitness (2 Covers)

Giant (2 Covers)

Bazaar (2 Covers)

Boca (5 Covers)

Golf (3 Covers)

(Source of cover images: )



Monday, December 11, 2006

G2: A Rich Gujarati Thali!

Hi Friends,

Just came across to another interesting abbreviation- 'G2'.

Do you know what does it stand for? OKi..Here is the clue... it is close to 'T3' :)

Still you are wondering…fine, let me tell you, it is recently launched lifestyle (not anymore, please!!) magazine but hey..hey..Its about all Shahs, Patels, Mehtas…I mean, its about Gujjus…Yes, it is 'G2- the Global Gujarati'.

G2 is launched last week by Cymbal Media, a magazine publishing arm of Lokmat Group (publisher of dailies in three languages- Hindi, English & marathi and LOKMAT is fourth largest read daily in India with over 10 million readers and no.1 in Maharastra), which is established to create up-scale brands to showcase fashion, beauty, art, culture, travel etc. G2 is the first magazine among them in an International size (yes, bigger than T3) and very good quality of paper. According to Mr. Devendra Darda, Exec. Director of Lokmat Group & publisher of G2, This magazine will be distributed in several international markets.

Editorial focus of G2 will be the community that owns a biggest business market in India and also built empires around the globe. If editorially this can stick to their mission and their focus, which will be good otherwise chances are very high to get diversified from their concept.

Inaugural issue of G2 is looking good…but not great. Good, because of size and paper for sure, but cover design is poor. Cover girl Hrishitaa Bhatt is looking good but designer has spoiled the beautiful picture by putting other objects very badly on the cover. Anyways it doesn’t go along with the philosophy of the magazine itself!!! At least in the inaugural issue, they should take care of the positioning of this magazine which is going to be- a magazine about successful gujratis (ad parsis also) they have put Hrishitaa (?) on the cover as Smart & Sassy!! Master head is also looks like ‘GQ’ magazine’s mast head.

At the cover price of Rs.125, 104 pages of editorial content look very shallow and unnecessarily stretched and same is with the TOC which is over stretched in four pages. Content Structure….??? Don’t even think about it…there is only section visible is lifestyle section which is the BOB of G2. Other stories are also not worth to mention.

At a glance, nothing can be appreciated other than the product quality in terms of physical aspects. Clients will definitely feel good to see their creative on such a good quality of paper and that too in larger than average size (and also if it reaches in large numbers of readers).