Fertile territory: OHbaby! takes to TV

Not long ago OHbaby! was announcing the launch of its new tablet edition. And now the independent title is celebrating another milestone: its first ever mainstream TV ad. 


It’s something of a rarity to see a magazine advertising itself on TV. Even the big ones rarely venture on screen. But managing director and publisher Angela Pedersen says the goal of the ad was to reach a wider audience, move beyond the bookstores and show New Zealand what the magazine was all about. 

It has been on TV before, as it had a contra deal with Nick Jr in the early days, but she says this was a different, and more personal kettle of fish because, in some ways, it was more like a brand ad. 

“The goal of the television ad was to communicate that OHbaby! is there for parents at each stage of their parenting journey while also showing ideas and inspiration during the ad for birth announcements, welcome home photo memories to be taken and beautiful images of baby and parents,” says Pedersen. “Our editorial ethos is to encourage, inspire, empower and inform parents and we feel that the ad does inspire ideas and shows the many contact points it has with its audience on our website, with the magazine and the new interactive iPad application as well.”

Like many small Kiwi companies hoping to get on TV, the ad, which was shot by Shotgun Media, was done on a budget and involved a few favours from friends who were pregnant and due within the timeframe needed to launch the ad in time for the onsale date. 

“The baby in the ad is just six days old, baby Zara,” she says. “And this couple are a ‘real life’ couple. We had a great time shooting the advert over two and a half days and love the feel that it gives.”

Being on TV is often seen as a recognition of a successful brand. And it can also be also an affirmation for the existing fans. 

“We sent out an email to our database and we’ve had so many people contacting us via email and on Facebook saying it’s awesome and beautiful. It’s almost as if our community is as much in love with us as we are with them.” 

Since its first appearance on the ABC site in late 2011, its average net paid sales were 6,973. And that increased to 9,468 at the end of last year. But one of the big areas of focus is digital, as evidenced by its shift from Zinio to tablet app. 

“We definitely want to be offering our advertisers new ways to engage and the digital platform allows more engagement,” she says. 

She says she’s been doing a whole heap of research on the digital media space and the crux of it is that because readers are spending more time interacting with the ads or playing advertisers’ videos “they just become more memorable”.

Pedersen says it’s averaging around 300 downloads a day at the Apple Newsstand (the app is free to download and each issue is $6.49) but she was unable to tell us about the number of paid digital subscriptions. 

When we spoke with her a few months ago, she said around 20 percent of the iPad downloads have come from overseas and this was an area the magazine would try to tap into in the future. 

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