Catch The Dose

Get a dose of this: CanWest will launch a new free mag geared at 18-34s on April 4. Called, you guessed it, Dose, 320,000 copies of the pub will be distributed each weekday in Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver at select retail and pub locations. Dose is CanWest's entry in the free tab market where it joins the likes of Metro.

Get a dose of this: CanWest will launch a new free mag geared at 18-34s on April 4. Called, you guessed it, Dose, 320,000 copies of the pub will be distributed each weekday in Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver at select retail and pub locations. Dose is CanWest’s entry in the free tab market where it joins the likes of Metro.

But Dose is different: Along with an online service (www.dose.ca), that will include local search and a music channel, the brand will incorporate a wireless portal, which could mean a lot of new marketing opps for advertisers.

‘All Dose operations and platforms are being developed together in an integrated fashion from launch,’ explains 27-year-old Toronto-based publisher Noah Godfrey, who in the past has worked in business development at MTV. ‘Potential partners find it compelling, because not only can they specifically target and have a conversation with this audience – they can do it wherever the audience goes and at any time.’

It’s also noteworthy that Dose has a strong player on its team in director of marketing Mark Shedletsky, who held the same title at MTV. Explains Godfrey: ‘He has experience integrating brands into programming and events, and similarly, he’ll work across our various functions to create engaging campaigns, whether it’s via editorial integration, events, or online communities.’

Among the opportunities Dose is looking to fill on the wireless portal? Sponsored content, such as movie listings and news updates, direct marketing messages sent to users who opt in, video blogs, alerts, ring tones, mobile video, downloadable coupons, and then, down the road, m-commerce (i.e. mobile commerce – selling via cellphone). At press time, Dose had signed a few advertisers, but Godfrey

was reluctant to give details.

‘Hypothetically, if you want to find out about the new movie Hitch, you would text a shortcode and we could send you info about it. There’s lots of content for brands that want to get their message out.’ Godfrey believes the medium will work best for advertisers in the entertainment, music, retail and service categories, as well as local establishments.

Dose is also willing to act as intermediary to hook up complementary advertisers. ‘We can be a vehicle to leverage brand partnerships, whether it’s access to another brand’s events, services, or their products directly.’

For instance, if a movie studio wants to offer an exclusive ‘first look’ at upcoming movies, Dose can bring said studio together with a specific wireless network to access the latter’s subscribers.

The target for Dose is urban, intelligent and ‘fun’ 18-34s (according to its publisher, the staff reflects this audience).

‘We spent a lot of time talking to our market and they care about the brands they interact with daily,’ he says. ‘They want to hear more about them, but they struggle to do that in a relevant context.’ He and his team aim to give them a dose of what they’re looking for.