The “In Your Face” Role of Magazines: Runner’s World Special Issue “Outrunning Cancer”

June 4, 2011

When you want to a send a loud and clear message to your readers, the iPad copy of your magazine will not do it. Magazines are much more than the ink printed on the paper; that I know. Magazine are experience makers that reflect, initiate, educate, inform, entertain and above all demand a second look from any browsing person on the nation’s stands or friends’ coffee tables. The July issue of Runner’s World magazine does all the above and more. It reflects, initiates, educates, informs and entertains all in one stunning special issue dedicated to “outrunning cancer.”

“To dramatize the truth that cancer transcends age, race, and gender” Runner’s World July issue has seven newsstand covers of cancer survivors. I do not believe that seeing those covers on the iPad have the same “in your face” impact as picking up the magazine at the newsstand and holding and displaying all seven covers next to each other (like I did at home after buying all seven copies). The need to know the stories about each cover subject, combined with the powerful and dramatic design of each cover, initiates that curiosity in each and everyone of us to reach out and touch the magazine.

Runner’s World and its parent company Rodale Inc. put their money where their mouth is. The magazine offer readers the chance to do more to help fight cancer. Runner’s World compiled “a comprehensive list of cancer charities with running connections and made it easy to support any of them.” You can visit crowdrise.com/runnersworld and contribute to the cause. Runner’s World and Rodale Inc. already did by donating $5,000.


  1. Great article and I agree that see all of those covers like that doen’t have the same in your face impact as seeing them on the iPad but truth is at a news stand you probably wouldn’t get to see all of those covers anyway.

    7 different covers? Most news stands don’t even carry two of the same issue when the magazine only features 2 different covers hence why a lot of magazines do “double covers” with one on the front and the other on the back.

    So I don’t think the effect of multiple covers is all that muted. Actually I’ve been playing around with the idea of how to have multiple covers on the same issue of an iPad magazine.

    Anyway, my father just passed away from Cancer on April 30th so the “cause” is definitely relevant to me and I appreciate what Runner’s World is doing?

  2. @Tablazines is correct that all 7 covers won’t get displayed across a mainline, but I doubt that Rodale was expecting that. The covers could have been segregated by region, distributor, or mixed within the bundle. If mixed within the bundle, they could get at least two facings in most of their higher volume locations and that is very impactful. Even more so, when the consumer picks up the top copy, and sees another cover image underneath. I did this with one client and we had our best issue ever. Would this work and have the same impact on an iPad? It would certainly be different. The newsstand is a public venue, the iPad and the digital newsstand is a personal venue. The two can not be compared.

    • Indeed that is how I found about the seven covers. I was attracted to the first cover and as I picked up another cover appeared. I picked it up and another one appeared, and another and another… until all seven covers were in my hand. Although one cover was showing, the intrigue of seeing a different cover every time you pick up one was enough for me to buy all seven.

  3. guys i hav to present a skit on role of magazines….
    plzz suggst some thing

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