rolling stone

Perception Vs. Reality

chris frank st. louis

As Rolling Stone magazine just put itself up for sale, it's interesting to look back at one of their more iconic ad campaigns aimed at broadening their readership. The "Perception Vs. Reality" campaign sought to generate more advertising revenue by using visual metaphors to show who the typical Rolling Stone reader actually was—not who he/she was thought to be.

At that time, the brand still had a large and engaged audience of readers, but ad buyers tended to dismiss them as dope-smoking hippies who weren’t a valuable target for ads.
— Katie Richards | AdWeek

The ad reads, “For a new generation of Rolling Stone readers, expressing your individuality does not mean wearing your birthday suit to a rock festival. During the past 12 months, Rolling Stone readers purchased more than 80 million items of apparel, setting the trends and shaping the buying patterns for the most influential consumers in America. Your media buy looks conspicuously naked if you’re not exposing yourself in the pages of Rolling Stone.”

Source: AdWeek