‘God Bless America” proclaims the strap line Woman’s World, one of America’s biggest mainstream weeklies. This cover is not some 70’s museum piece, it is their current cover, give or take a week. And what a cover it is. Every single coverline has an exclamation mark! – 24 in all. Which has to be some kind of record on both sides of the Atlantic. But here’s more to this cover than meets the eye…
1. The promise of value is immense. From the exhortation over the price (More for your money!) to the simple fact that there are over 150 words here, in 11 separate cover stories. The most you will see on a UK title is about 70 words in 8 stories.
2. You can literally have your cake and eat it. As seen by the top line of how to dress 10lbs thinner, immediately followed by a recipe which appears to involve nothing more than wedging a Mars bar into the icing on a bunch of cup cakes.
3. ‘The sandwich that prevents cancer’. In any market, anywhere, this is some promise.
4. ‘Too hot?’ In this older woman’s market, this is an extremely effective newsstand sell, designed to operate on how you are feeling at the exact point of purchase, with a promise of instant relief. Not too big either, so the line feels personal, and intimate. Which it is.
5. The second line of the cover splash specifically uses the word ‘Supermarket’. These magazines are primarily sold in supermarkets. Go figure.
6. Buried inside the third line of the cover splash, is the immortal promise: “Feel so full, you’ll want 81% less food”. The intervention of science in this line, whilst entirely unbelievable, does suggest there is a higher authority at work here, as opposed to merely a sub-editors pen.
7. The fashion. Stretchy, shiny, and straight off a Walford market stall. Marie Osmond knows her fan base, Woman’s World certainly know their readers.
As for Sarah Palin, if she ends up in the White House, rather than ‘God Bless America’, the slug line may well need changing to ‘God Help Us All’