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Party (Once Again) In The House
By: Briskman Stanfield
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Think "Tupperware" with no purchase necessary. It’s the newest event concept for magazines to promote themselves with their advertiser’s brands. 

Turning an unconventional page, this collaborative effort has shifted the focus from selling to giving in an engaging, affordable marketing attempt to psyche up readership while dangling sample products and gifts to consumers through various themed soirees.
 
While former home parties have included well-known companies such as Avon and Mary Kay, and newer events have emerged with everything from aromatherapy candles to (who what would have guessed) sex toys and Botox, nothing compares to the latest trend.
 
Similar to former Tupperware parties in socialization, refreshments, and snacks, the mundane plastic spatula favors have been replaced with the exciting product samples, gifts, subscriptions, and coupons.
 
In Redbook magazine’s attempt to reach more potential readers, they teamed with House Party and sponsored the National Happy Hour (parties). After recruiting hostesses (to have parties with their BFFs), the magazine supplied all the exciting ingredients (House Party shipped 35-poud boxes straight to the door) for “1,000 ‘girls-only’" parties to be held in readers' homes with attendance projected at more than 15,000.” Some of the giveaway samples (from Redbook advertisers) included “the L’Oréal Paris brand sold by L’Oréal, the Seattle’s Best coffee brand sold by Starbucks and pretzels from Snyder’s of Hanover.”  
 
Kiwi (green focus) parenting magazine and website is another example, with the exception they don’t hire out but run their own show known as "Moms Meet" with about 14,000 “mom ambassadors [meeting] for weekly or monthly meetings that average 20 attendees apiece.” Groups discuss parenting topics from “Beating Potty Training Setbacks” to “Staying Safe From Toxins” and guests receive coordinated product samples that first must meet the criteria for being organically rooted, according to Maxine Wolf, Kiwi publisher (owned by May Media Group).
 
And while past Kiwi sponsors included smaller companies such as "Sprout organic baby food" and "Laloo’s’ goat ice cream," growing party success has captured the attention of bigger company eyes such as those of Kraft Foods, who will introduce the new line of wholesome, natural products starting with Teddy Grahams Soft Paws (large, soft, individually wrapped cookies in claw shapes) at Kiwi events this August.

Feedback through questionnaires often result in significant changes as in the case of Marcal Small Steps toilet paper, which will be highlighting the United States on packages, after learning the importance of domestic origin from consumers.

The media and advertisers are bringing people together for fun and games while also moving them outside the confines of the social media network to affordably promote their wares and support magazine sustainability. Ironically, the large successful turnouts indicate that people still crave human interaction, possibly making marketers take note: the old social school still rules the dollar.

   

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About the Author

Briskman Stanfield is a freelance copywriter and all-around, behind-the-scenes team player.

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