Read with your feet

Creating something truly new in the world of luxury magazines and advertising is certainly not an easy feat. Yet the French creative agency Being and the personal care brand Hansaplast have managed to do just that by turning assumptions about how magazines should be read on their head – or rather, on their feet.

Creating something truly new in the world of luxury magazines and advertising is certainly not an easy feat. Yet the French creative agency Being and the personal care brand Hansaplast have managed to do just that by turning assumptions about how magazines should be read on their head – or rather, on their feet.

Hansaplast, a business unit of Beiersdorf, is launching a line of creams, deodorant and antiperspirant called FootExpert. To promote the products, agency Being created Feet Mag. The luxury publication features stories and high-quality artwork thematically related to feet. Its photographs are humorous, showing women playing cards and blowing kisses with their feet. The most surprising feature: The magazine is meant to be read using one’s feet. The paper is thick enough so the pages can be turned with the help of one’s toes and the print is larger than usual so the magazine can be read from a leg-length away.

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The magazine comes across as stylish and playful, just as agency Being intended. “When we researched footcare and the target customer, we discovered that the typical foot care consumer was actually younger and more active than the traditional Hansaplast band-aid buyer,” says Being’s Marie Reynaud. “To attract this younger target audience, we had to help the brand switch its brand perception from a serious healthcare plaster brand to an aspirational care brand.”

The selection of the paper required special attention: “We chose the paper stock to make sure that it would be thick enough to be turned with feet, and a varnish helped for a better grip”, says Reynaud. “All those production constraints had to match with a premium design that was necessary to attract the target audience.”

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While reaching the intended audience is one challenge, obtaining the Feet Mag can be equally challenging. The magazine is not for sale at newsstands and so far, only 500 copies have been handed out to French journalists, bloggers and influencers.

More will be distributed from May to October to the 15 000 runners of the six Odyssea races that will take place in Paris, Auxerre, Brest, Cannes, Chambéry and Dijon. Hansaplast sponsors the Odyssea races, whose main objective is to rise and collect funds for breast cancer research. So far, no further issues are planned but this could change with the success of the magazine.

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