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There is already a symbiosis that exists between fashion and lifestyle publications and the brands they cover. But Chatelaine is taking it to a new level, with an entire issue devoted to one brand, entitled "Chatelaine Shops Target."
The Rogers Communications Inc.-owned magazine calls this "the first time any magazine has produced a branded issue based around a single sponsor."
The Target Canada-sponsored issue does not take the place of other editorial content: It is a bonus 13th issue in the year, and will be released on Sept. 23. It focuses entirely on "content inspired by the editors' own shopping trips to Target Canada," presented under the Chatelaine masthead. The magazine's subscribers will receive it automatically, as will shoppers at some Target stores in Canada, with a purchase.
The issue will feature products from Target including Beaver Canoe clothing, Sonia Kashuk cosmetics, and the store's household brands including Up & Up, and Threshold. Recipes will feature products from its grocery section.
The 132-page issue will also be presented online and on tablet devices. Another Rogers Media property is also getting in on the deal: Next Tuesday, the CityTV daytime show CityLine will air a special episode featuring "ideas and solutions from the special issue."
In a statement, Chatelaine's publisher, Tara Tucker, said the issue would appear like any other in Chatelaine's lineup: "The only difference is this time [the editors] went to Target to find their inspirational ideas."
With a challenging climate in general for magazine advertising, however, another notable difference is that the issue will likely bring in much more revenue than average for the publisher.
It also addresses a challenge for Target: After a splashy launch in Canada in March, the retail chain has faced weaker sales than expected in this market. This week, the retailer said it no longer expects to turn a profit here by year's end. One of its strategies to address this will be to more actively advertise grocery and household products that draw shoppers into the stores more often.