Kiplinger To Produce Short Financial TV Segments

Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazineWell-known personal finance publisher Kiplinger is looking to jump aboard the TV "pod-buster" train. Kiplinger is set to produce vignettes on topics such as saving for retirement and paying for college, where advertisers can attach their brand as they look to build audience retention. 

Editors from the 61-year-old Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine will dole out advice in 25-second segments, giving an advertiser the opportunity to open and close billboards--and then the chance to run an ensuing 15-second, or longer, spot of their own.

Kiplinger intends to sell the personal-finance vignettes in packages of four, each covering a separate topic, to a single advertiser. The company is hoping that advertisers in the magazine and accompanying Web site will want to take advantage of multi-platform deals.

Paul Vizza, sales director in the custom content group, envisions the sponsored vignettes running as a series during four different breaks in a single broadcast. (A tipoff that another one is coming later could keep viewers interested.) While the content may be more organic to a show focused on finance or Wall Street, Vizza said it's accessible enough to run in sporting events and other general content.

"Pod-buster" is a term that has emerged in the DVR age as viewers have been increasingly fast-forwarding through spots or finding other distractions. It refers to a network and advertiser's attempt to air sponsored content during breaks that may have greater appeal than the traditional 30-second spot.

The Kiplinger vignettes can also be distributed on the Web. The company, which began as a publishing company in 1923, had distributed similar personal-finance-tip pieces to local stations for their newscasts in the 1990s. But it moved away from that business when stations began to hire their own financial reporters.

The advent of broadband, however, has brought the publisher back into the video arena. Like many of its peers, it offers an array of streams on its Web site and also distributes shorts to the likes of Yahoo and MSN.

The company has about 15 editors who can comment on a variety of topics for the sponsored vignettes. An advertiser could request a topic, but Vizza said Kiplinger would "keep complete editorial control--and we say that to our clients up front." However, he added: "We welcome suggestions. It's a collaborative process."

So far, Kiplinger has 12 topics that the vignettes might cover, stretching beyond saving for retirement and paying for college to the "money side of marriage" and "green investing."

Like most magazines, the monthly Kiplinger's Personal Finance has seen ad pages decline this year. For the January-September 2008 period, they dropped 13.6% (to 309) versus the same period a year ago, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Over the first six months of 2008, total circulation dropped a slight .4% (to 831,306), according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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