On June 26th I posted the Lady Gaga cover as the Cover of the Week
My motivation was simple. Rolling Stone
had published the Obama’s General story on-line, a full week before printed copies were available for purchase at newsstands. The story went viral, and within a week, the General had resigned/been fired. The story was over before it was even delivered to newsstands.
What a perfect experiment to test the theory about Rule # 6: Be Controversial: which generates free publicity and marketing buzz you simply can’t buy at any price.
Clearly, the editorial and art teams didn’t expect much newsstand pull on Obama’s General as a major selling hook: note the placement well down the real estate hierarchy grid and the rather small point size to the sell line.
According to Magnet information from the United States (which looks at point of scan data from high volume retailers) the Lady Gaga issue sold 70% more copies than the Jonas Brothers cover from the same time slot in Summer 2009. The Summer slot has a 1 month selling window as opposed to the usual 2 week cycle. With that said, the Lady Gaga issue sold 194% more copies compared to the 52-week average for Rolling Stone
. This issue was a runaway winner. Final Sales will eventually be posted by ABC.
Apparently people still like to read magazines purchased at newsstands, even if the inflammatory content is a week old. It didn’t hurt that the cover is fantastic in every other way too, of course.
Rollingstone's July Lady Gaga cover