Magazine Drives Huge Engagement with Bracket

by Jarrett Medlin St. Louis Magazine

Case Study Highlights

  • Mass-appeal bracket
  • Inspired future campaigns
  • 1,100+ opt-ins for magazine

The Idea

St. Louis Magazine, circulation 40,000, hosted a Food Fight bracket featuring iconic foods from the city. The people of St. Louis—like those of other cities—have some passionate debates about the region’s most iconic foods. We expected a bracket of this type would drive tons of engagement from our readers.

When we created the St. Louis Food Fight contest, we hoped that it would serve as an example of what St. Louis Magazine could do with future brackets while keeping potential revenue opportunities open as well.

Magazine Drives Huge Engagement with Bracket

The Execution

We compiled a list of iconic St. Louis foods and narrowed them down, with a conscious effort to not use specific business or product names. In the future, similar brackets might include advertising opportunities as well.

Iconic STL Foods

We decided to limit our bracket to eight entrants. This would give us three separate rounds of fan voting, each lasting four days. We kicked off the first round on a Thursday, with the final round ending on the following Friday.

STL Mag Food Fight Bracket

Our focus was on generating the most engagement possible to get our audience excited. We leveraged social media, email, run-of-site ads, our online contest carousel, as well as our core media to get the word out.

Social media and emails from STL Mag

The Results

Utilizing this fun topic to spark our audience’s passion was a hit! The bracket collected more than 1,750 votes and added more than 850 opt-ins across three magazine newsletters. Plus, our email birthday club grew by nearly 280 people!

With this success, we now have proof of concept to provide to advertisers, and we can sell the series throughout the year. We’re hoping to launch many of these food-themed brackets in the future, starting with the St. Louis Food Fight Pizza Bracket.

STL Magazine Pizza bracket

Get your copy of the 359 Ideas to Engage Your Audience Playbook.