Campaign Supplement on BMP DDB 1968-1998: Advertising Feature - Time Out. Over the last 30 years, Time Out has evolved from a listings magazine into a brand

At Time Out we are delighted to sponsor BMP’s Thirty Years of Bright Ideas evening at the Albert Hall. It’s an appropriate partnership, not just because we also celebrated our 30th birthday this month, but also because we’ve had a long working relationship. In 1974, BMP conducted some in-magazine research for us and then took it a stage further by booking some of the first colour spread ads - for Southern Comfort - to appear in the title.

At Time Out we are delighted to sponsor BMP’s Thirty Years of

Bright Ideas evening at the Albert Hall. It’s an appropriate

partnership, not just because we also celebrated our 30th birthday this

month, but also because we’ve had a long working relationship. In 1974,

BMP conducted some in-magazine research for us and then took it a stage

further by booking some of the first colour spread ads - for Southern

Comfort - to appear in the title.



Time Out’s founder, Tony Elliott, started the magazine in 1968. He

borrowed pounds 75 from his aunt and produced a black-and-white,

single-sheet folded poster listing a few dozen venues.



The idea was unique. It sold itself.



Now a 200-page-plus, full-colour magazine - widely imitated but never

bettered - employing close to 100 staff, Time Out has adopted some of

the ad industry’s techniques. BMP sells products brilliantly: everything

from beer to Barclays. We sell ideas: everything from fringe theatre to

suits.



As Elliott puts it: ’The cover is a poster for the magazine.’ Like ad

agencies, we’ve used pastiche: cut-price dining sold as Cheap Eatz in

the shape (allegedly) of a well-known tin of beans; we featured Prague

as the ’destination for a new generation’ using Pepsi’s typeface; cinema

references have included a ’Reservoir Togs’ homage using seven celebs

striding across a gatefold sleeve to illustrate a guide to suits or,

more simply, Eddie Izzard in a Clockwork Orange-style bowler hat.



Strong graphics are an integral part of our style: thus a rolled-up note

snorting a Time Out logo made of white powder was used to illustrate a

drugs special; a Prince exclusive was announced simply by using his logo

in white on black.



We’ve had our share of gimmicks too: alternative covers for the same

issue; a Halloween cover with a life-size ’Robert DeNirostein’ cut-out

mask.



There’s been controversy: Tricky as Jesus Christ, Marilyn Manson as the

Virgin Mary. And, of course, as ever, sex. But always inventively, as

when Weird Sex boasted four alternative covers and a gallery from 100

artists.



Thirty years on, Time Out isn’t just a magazine, it’s a brand. Our city

guides, published in association with Penguin Books, currently number 17

and more are on the way. We have counterparts in New York (Time Out New

York) and Rome (Time Out Roma) and a weekly insert in Pariscope (Time

Out Paris). Our sister titles in London include the style bible, i-D,

Modern Painters and Kids Out, and we publish guides for visitors and

students, to eating and drinking, films, shopping, pubs and bars.



What Time Out does is simple: we provide information clearly, simply,

comprehensively and without fear or favour. And we do it for some of the

greatest cities on earth.



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