How a Cover Wrap Campaign Brought in Volcanic ROI for Hawaiian Resort

You may remember me writing about cover wraps as an emerging ad tactic earlier this summer.

“The tactic is sponsored cover wraps – typically a four-page piece placed atop the regular front and back covers of select copies,” explained D. Eadward Tree in Dead Tree Edition in July. He provided an example of a previous Forbes cover wrap sponsored by Marcum Group that met with a lot of success.

One of the benefits of this kind of approach is the affordability factor. As Tree noted, a full page spread inside a mass magazine is out of reach for smaller companies – but a tightly targeted cover wrap campaign can get them solid exposure on the same trusted platform, for a price that’s within reach.

With the kinds of ROI some brands are seeing, we expected this idea to pick up steam – big, tropical Hawaiian steam, in fact. As Ashley Roberts reports in a Brand United case study, a series of cover wraps brought in some spectacular results for Hawaiian resort community Kukui’ula.

“Even in a world where digital communications appear to dominate, successful print marketing campaigns are all around us. Large-scale print marketing programs don’t have to push against an inexorable current of change, because print has proven its worth again and again,” the case study notes.

Roberts explains that the resort was looking to improve sales leads at their high-end resort, and needed an effective way to reach a specific luxury demographic. The question they had to answer was this: With so many marketing channels to choose from, what method would be best to reach Kukui’ula’s wealthy target market?

“The resort community worked with its agency Greenhaus and media buying partner MNI Targeted Media Inc. to determine that the best channel to reach the target audience was print,” Roberts explains.

Image source: Case Study

The team booked six consecutive issues of Travel + Leisure magazine with a series of four-page cover wraps full of gorgeous imagery and compelling storytelling around the Kukui’ula brand. They combined this with a highly strategic mailing list that fit their tight demographic.

“’Upscale’ was definitely the guiding principle for Kukui’ula’s new home-sales initiative,” the case study continues. “The razor focus was on an elite audience, with messages tailored to the lives these prospects actually live and aspire to have.

“Luxury buyers tend to respond best to ‘a physical manifestation of luxury’; for Kukui’ula’s campaign, that manifestation comprised 91 percent of its target audience who regularly read one or more magazines devoted to travel, business and finance. And because print magazines have been found to be the best at reaching affluent consumers in more categories than all other media combined, including Internet and TV, this lined up nicely,” the report continues.

The Kukui’ula cover wrap campaign was an unqualified success:

  • 16% of the target audience requested more information about home sales at the resort; and
  • 36% of respondents said they were more likely to visit Kukui’ula after experiencing the print campaign.

Image source: Case Study

Could a cover wrap work for your brand? And, if you’re a publisher, are you open to the idea of leveraging your audience with this kind of advertising possibility? Data capabilities and printing technologies make the idea more feasible and affordable than ever, and the evidence is mounting that cover wraps – created with the right combination of story, targeted data and printing technology — can bring in a volcanic ROI.