2021 Winner

Viva Magazine


Auckland, New Zealand

Category Print

Overview of this campaign

In 2020, the NZ media market was shaken by COVID-19.

Three factors impacted the industry:

  • Advertising:
    Our economy is dependent on tourism and exports, both of which were at risk as the global pandemic took hold. With our economy in freefall, advertisers re-trenched, withdrawing both immediate and future commitments.

  • Production:
    In March, the New Zealand government introduced a hard lockdown. Only essential business services were to continue. Newspapers, television, and radio were deemed essential – magazines were not.

  • Distribution:
    Consumers were encouraged to stay at home, and could no longer go to newsagents at will. With no time to browse the magazine shelves – and so few titles to select from – magazine sales all but halted.

These factors had immediate effect.

Bauer Media withdrew overnight from the NZ market, making its workforce redundant and forcing the immediate closure of its titles. A number of smaller publishers followed suit, unable to sustain a business with – effectively – no product to sell.

We knew that magazines would come back but there was an immediate gap in the market – for advertisers, consumers, and retailers.

Although NZME had no experience in magazines, an audacious idea was born: we would capture the moment to launch a brand-new high-quality glossy retail magazine, filling the gap in the NZ magazine market.

The goals were ambitious:

  1. Advertising revenue would need to cover all production and distribution costs and deliver a hefty profit, or the project would be cancelled.

  2. Dominate retail. Once lockdown ended, there’d be a race for shelf space in-store. Only the first titles to launch could win.

Deliver a magazine worth reading. NZME’s weekly ‘Viva’ NIM (newspaper-inserted magazine) was the ideal brand to extend into this new gloss format. With an existing audience online, in social and in newsprint it would seed the ground for the new magazine. This project needed to deliver the level of quality expected by Viva’s readers … in an entirely new format.

Results for this campaign

Viva Magazine was born of hustle, heart, and grit. The project achieved every goal we aimed for:  

  1. Advertising revenue covered every cost.

    Without commercial support, the project would fold.

    The project was green-lit on 29 June… By July 1, sales collateral was in-market. Within two weeks, we’d pitched the title to every significant client and media agency. By the frighteningly short booking deadline (August 14,) we’d secured production funding, and more.

    We were able to invest in increasing the book size from a planned 124 pages to a chunky 164. More pleasingly, we were able to report a very healthy profit. 

  2. We dominated retail.

    As Auckland dipped in and out of lockdown, and on top of existing deadlines, Viva’s editorial team delivered a stunningly beautiful magazine from scratch, in just 7 weeks.

This punishing deadline enabled us to achieve an outstanding result at retail: we were on sale 31 August, just 2 months after kick-off.

As the first mass-interest fashion & lifestyle title to market, we captured premium ranging positions in-store for the first week of launch. That positioning delivered a previously unimaginable goal – in its first week, Viva Magazine launched as NZ’s #1 selling monthly/quarterly title nationwide.

  1. We created a magazine more than worth reading

    Viva Magazine was beautiful, unusual, fresh. It championed local faces, landscapes, and voices, introducing contemporary talent and heroing the new.

    It was launched across Viva’s existing channels – newsprint, social media, EDM, and digital – and through the wider NZME network.  

Reader research showed that we’d reached a new market, not familiar with the brand. We extended Viva’s Auckland-centric footprint nationwide.

89% said they’d read Viva Magazine again. Research confirmed we’d achieved something special;

“I love the diversity in your models, I loved the quality of journalism, I loved the layout and photography.

“There is something quite unique and special about this magazine that sets it apart from other magazines I choose to read.”


To contact a company representative about this campaign, click here for the INMA Member Directory

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