The Mario Blog
05.06.2009—10am
Advertising display and experimentation

TAKEAWAY: We are beginning to see more U.S. newspapers consider experimentation with the way they display advertising. PLUS: Divorce, Italian style: Il Secolo XIX covers the Berlusconi divorce

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Here is how USA Today displayed a Target store ad in Monday’s editions

First, apologies for yesterday, when our Garcia Media server, along with many others nationwide, was down and you could not access this site. It took 24 hours for things to go back to normal, so here we are today, with what would have been our blog posting about how USA Today’s Monday’s edition displayed a Target store ad running thru two pages, but in an unconventional way.

The ad, shown here, runs top to bottom of the page, with editorial content on both sides of it. This is something we would not have seen in American newspapers as recently as two years ago.
We show it here, because we always applaud newspapers that dare to experiment with ads and how they place them.

It is customary for Asian, European and Latin American newspapers to be highly experimental with ad placement, but the American editors are notorious for saying NO to advertising directors who present them with ideas for such ad displays.

Good to see the tide changing.

Divorce a la italiana

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Today’s Il Secolo XIX covering the divorce starting on Page One

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Three pages from Il Secolo XIX of Genoa covering the high profile divorce of Silvio Berlusconi

Italian newspapers and media generally cannot get enough of the story, which started a few days ago when Silvio Berlusconi’s wife, Veronica, denounced him for recruiting too many beautiful women to run for political posts in his party.

Now la signora Berlusconi has filed for divorce, so I asked Massimo Gentile, art director of Il Secolo XIX of Genoa, how his newspaper was covering the event. He sent these pages today, with this comment:

We are trying to cover the event, highlighting key phrases from both Berlusconi and Veronica. The story now is all about division of property, the family patrimony, which is more complicated than the glamorous story of the Premier’s divorce and his young beautiful friends. Here we have a complex empire, partly hidden, with holdings that control other holdings.

In a sense, as is usual the case in high profile divorces of the rich and famous, Veronica has opened a can of antipasti. The story is likely to continue to captivate the Italians for months to come. All the “news” ingredients are there: money, glamour, sex, ambition and, of course, Berlusconi himself. But one thing Italians know well is that their colorful leader Berlusconi usually lands on his feet—-or on his mouth.

The Italians, and their media, are there, camera in hand, ready to film the moment.

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