Mine magazine promised big. The premise: a customizable title that you can fashion to fit your interests — something that’s already accomplished quite well via various web portals.
Still, I like big promises and wanted to check it out. I missed the deadline to receive a hard copy, but answered a few questions to get the digital version in five weeks. Five weeks? Isn’t digital supposed to offer at least a semblance of immediate gratification?
Now, back to those questions. There were only about five and they were so unremarkable that I can’t recall them. But I do remember being impressed: “Man, this must be a very sophisticated technology if it’ll be able to develop an interesting and well-targeted publication from these silly questions.”
Five weeks later, I had two issues of Mine in my mailbox. Before I delve into them, let me introduce the fatal flaw. I live in Brooklyn, am 32-years-old, single with no kids and have never once owned a car in my life. I am quite proud of that. Mine is single-sponsored by Lexus, so “customized” ads for the 2010 RX (this is like Chinese for me) scream at me from every page.
This is the high-living version of me with kids and an East Hampton summer house.
The articles go on to show me how to: get the best views from my private plane ride; encourage my kids to exercise; purchase custom denim; turn an unfinished basement into an entertainment center; and protect my nest egg…with a darling picture of a couple with kids bouncing around in the blurry background. Oh, and the Lexus closing ad proclaims: “The all-new 2010 RX. Now with more Mariela Azcuy.”
While the car ads are still irrelevant, these are at least more on target. They talk about how I like to sing in the car (check) and need something I can easily parallel park between a hot dog vendor and a bike messenger (double check).
The mix of articles is more my real-life style: a New Orleans travel guide; yummy recipes from Food & Wine (although the cocktails story should really focus on beer or wine); cheap beauty product winners; and building a bond portfolio (this is where I tune out and feel guilty about it).
You need way more than five generic questions to really deliver a magazine made for me. You need a few advertisers or at least a product that appeals to a larger audience, especially for a digital magazine that will probably be accessed mostly by city dwellers in areas of great public transportation. A tech product like a computer or digital camera seems like a natural fit. You need to fix the glitch and not send me two magazines — or introduce me to that fantasy Mariela Azcuy, who sounds like a stellar gal.
Posted by: Mariela