Archive for the ‘iPad’ Category

‘The Super Moshis need YOU’ – the powerful language of propaganda

August 25, 2015

The advertising watchdog has criticised Mind Candy for tempting children

Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority berated Mind Candy on Tuesday. The offence committed by the online company was using adverts inside Moshi Monsters to encourage the game’s young players to pester their parents for paid add-ons and subscriptions.

The problem has come up before with adverts even in games back in the 1980s, but it wasn’t this that grabbed my attention: it was the wording in the adverts.

Alfred Leete's 'Your Country Needs You' London Opinion cover inspired a Great War advertising campaign

Alfred Leete’s ‘Your Country Needs You’ London Opinion cover

Among the copy used were the phrases ‘The Super Moshis need YOU! Rise to the challenge and join the Super Moshis in their crusade’ alongside prominent calls to action such as ‘JOIN NOW’. This is the language of advertising from the Edwardian era and the propaganda posters of the First World War. The Moshi pages make frequent use of the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ to attract children’s attention and make them feel they are being spoken to directly. A classic market technique in 1914 and still effective now.

Black-and-white artist Alfred Leete used exactly that construction when he did his 1914 London Opinion magazine cover of Lord Kitchener that was taken up so powerfully as a government recruiting poster.

Millions of men volunteered to fight and die in the mud of France, enticed to join up by the ‘Your Country Needs You’ magazine covers and posters. In today’s consumer world, it’s children’s pocket money that the likes of Mind Candy are after with ‘Super Moshis need YOU!’.

Laid back and simple at the Economist

October 3, 2012

Came across this post from Neelay Patel about the Economist’s iPad strategy. It reminds me of the advice from typographers when DTP came in (John Miles made a similar plea at the time):

We also agonized over what not to include. We didn’t want any bells or whistles, or anything that would distract our readers from doing what they wanted, to finish reading their Economist each week.

With 600,000 unique devices accessing the apps each week and over 125,000 digital-only subscribers (and that was back in May), who could argue?

Digital magazine development



Switching to digital-only magazines

July 5, 2012

Magazines and newspapers in the west are debating when they are likely to drop the print product and switch to digital-only.

Auto-Trader – once the milk cow that kept the Guardian afloat – has put a figure on it in the Telegraph:

John King, Trader Media Group’s chief executive, said it is likely to stop producing a print magazine next year. “We won’t make the decision until later this year, but we’re looking at around 12 to 18 months from now,”

Car magazines profiles


Google turns to magazines

June 27, 2012

Google’s new Nexus 2 tablet has taken a leaf out of Apple and Amazon’s book by making sure it will have ‘content’ on stream, including magazines from its Google Play app store, from US publishers Hearst and Condé Nast, such as Popular Science, Food Network, and Conde Nast Traveler.

Brilliant iPad stand – and cheap too!

October 22, 2011
iPad on its stand

iPad on its stand

Used this iPad on its stand at the office last week and was impressed by its stability. So I picked it up to examine it. An iPad stand has got to cost £30, I thought. But this is what I discovered:

iPad stand is a hole punch and Blu-Tack

iPad stand is a hole punch and Blu-Tack

It’s a hole punch with the iPad held on with Blu-Tack! What office hasn’t got a hole punch (cost £8) and Blu-Tack lying around doing nothing?

Baby thinks magazine is iPad

October 14, 2011

Never mind Liam Fox resigning, see this baby with magazine video: makes you think.

The failure of iPad magazines

March 30, 2011

Amid all the hype, Andrew Losowsky has taken a hard look at magazines on the iPad for the Hospital Club and come up with some very cold water for publishers, such as:

  1. Why should someone pay $47.88 for the Wired app when it costs $10 a year in the USA to receive for the magazine?
  2. There are 15m iPads out there. Sound a lot? (It’s only the population of Beijing.)
  3. There’s a massive amount of competing media on an iPad (250m websites for a start).
  4. Apps are a fad. Remember the CD-Rom publishing revolution? he asks. (I do, I wrote a book on it!)
  5. Maglets (magazines on tablets) are ‘outside the digital conversation’ – you can’t tweet someone a chunk of one.
  6. Most mag apps are ‘irritating applications of over-design by people giddy at the possibilities of new formats’.

Is there any hope? Read the rest of Andrew’s article.

History of digital media


IPad: sales hit PCs; Murdoch’s Daily delay; mag apps slump

January 13, 2011

In a report on PC sales, IDC has said ‘Growth steadily slowed throughout 2010 as weakening demand and competition from the Apple iPad constrained PC shipments’.

The FT backs this up with a Gartner study, saying: ‘IDC and Gartner, in separate reports issued on Wednesday, said total shipments were less than previous projections.’

IDC estimates that about 17m tablets were shipped by manufacturers in 2010, most of them from Apple, and that figure is expected to reach 44m in 2011, alongside 385m PCs.

Poynter is showing a house ad for Rupert Murdoch’s Daily iPad-only newspaper, which was to be launched by Murdoch and Apple’s Steve Jobs, says Roy Greenslade, but today’s Guardian says the launch as been set back several weeks. Some wag is bound to dub it ‘The Daily delay’ if this carries on

And Monday’s Media Guardian analysis of iPad trends made disappointing reading for publishing seeking another revenue stream. ‘iPad apps – still more dash than cash’ by Jemima Kiss said:

Figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations in the US show average monthly downloads slumping by the end of 2010. Only two publishers were brave enough to share their figures.

Conde Nast and Rodale revealed that:

  • Wired US iPad magazine sold 73,000 copies through the app in its first nine days in May 2010 but that fell to 23,000 in November
  • Vanity Fair sold 10,500 in October but 8,700 in November
  • GQ’s average fell from 13,000 in October to 11,000
  • Men’s Health fell from 2,800 monthly shortly after the iPad launch to 2,000.

Developments in digital magazines