Good Thinking

Ingenious magazine on a bottle

Ingenious magazine on a bottle
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January 21, 2006 The media mix is about to have a new and very viable form of print publishing – on-product magazines will hit the market for the first time in early 2006 and we suspect this innovation is capable of changing the world of print media as we know it. The concept of on-product magazines first came to Joanna Wojtalik while she was studying in the final year of a marketing course just two years ago. The idea was simple – create a small (in the first instance this will be an A7 - 74 x 105 mm) magazine which fits onto a fast moving consumer product and distribute via grocery rather than traditional magazine channels. Joanna’s idea is now patented and will launch in January as the first on-product magazine - a bottled water aimed at the female market with iLove magazine attached and will be joined in Q2 by a magazine for children and a magazine aimed at men on Iced Coffee. Distribution will be focused through convenience stores, supermarkets and gas stations, significantly differentiating the products that carry them and offering advertisers a circulation far in excess of magazines sold through traditional magazine distribution channels. By March, iLove magazine will be the largest circulation magazine in Australia and the company has global aspirations, holding patents for on-product magazines attached to all common food packaging formats.

Print was the first mass medium, the first medium to take advertising, and still commands more than 50% of the world’s advertising expenditure despite the advances of radio, television, outdoor and more recently the internet. Newspapers and magazines have not had an easy time over recent years as the paid circulations of the leading publications have declined, partially due to the ability of the electronic news media to deliver more specialised, relevant and up-to-date news and partially due to the increased competition in the market. The availability of Desktop Publishing tools such as Adobe PageMaker, QuarkExpress and Adobe InDesign have democratised publishing, more than doubling the number of newsstand magazines in most countries and fragmenting the market accordingly.

Those magazines which still hold large circulations do so with cover-mounted tip ons, freebies, competitions and massive marketing budgets. While magazines target specific audiences far better than most media, these market forces have detracted from magazines’ ability to deliver large audiences.

The company which Joanna founded, ModernMedia Concepts, has only been in existence since August but has been busy testing and refining the concept, developing a product which can be safely stored in a refrigerator without condensation affecting the paper.

ModernMedia Concepts CEO Alex McKinnon told Gizmag the tests had been highly successful in consumer trials and the first such on-product magazine now ready for market. “It won’t survive submersion in an ice bucket for long, but it handles condensation in a refrigerator just fine,” said McKinnon.

“We’ve also had a terrific response from advertisers, and as you’d expect, it’s the progressive innovative marketers who have been the first movers”, said McKinnon, “though we expect as the distribution channels develop and circulation increases, we’ll see the major marketers coming on board.”

Initially, ILove magazine will be a 32 page A7 magazine including 10 pages of advertising per issue with the circulation of each edition reaching 2,000,000 by March, 2005. That’s roughly three times the circulation of Australia’s largest circulation womens magazine, the Australian Womens Weekly.

The company is also about to announce joint ventures with an established children’s publisher to create a product aimed at children and a men’s magazine to create an Iced Coffee with a magazine aimed at men.

McKinnon emphasised that the company would “not be just a beverage company” but had plans for developing magazines integrated into many different types of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), and holds patents for on-product magazines attached to all common food packaging formats.

The concept of a large circulation, controlled circulation (free), pocket-sized magazine offering a short read is not new (Gizmag’s print magazine has been available for three years), but with the grocery channel distribution, we expect MMC to flourish and its magazines to have a major impact on global publishing.

The magazine’s pocket-friendly size makes it easy to retain – perfect for in-store product/brand recall, redemption vouchers, interactive campaigns and branding exercises.

iLove will be sold in supermarkets, petrol stations, convenience stores, cafés, restaurants, train stations, airports, kiosks, major events – virtually anywhere bottled water is purchased.


Marketing student Joanna Wojtalik invented the concept of on-product publishing during her Swinburne University marketing degree in 2003. In 2004 Joanna met McKinnon through a mutual friend, Evan Linwood and the group immediately started research and development to make the invention possible and economically viable.

Twelve months and many designs later, with new guiding mentors Mick Hall & Kevin Violi, the group began raising the capital to take the final product to market.

They formed Modern Media Concepts, a privately owned company, backed by the people who run the business along with passionate investors from a variety of publishing, entertainment and related industries.

iLove is MMC’s first product and the company flagship and is published fortnightly in six separate parts – effectively three individual magazines per week. The iLove media kit can be downloaded here and advertising enquiries can be directed to Melanie Swieconek.

Publishing enquiries should be directed to Alex McKinnon.

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