Entering into the 1980s, Rolling Stone had a reputation as the nitty-grittiest of magazines. Fallon McElligott Rice’s “Perception. Reality” campaign set out to change this by cleverly highlighting (in over 60 print executions) how the magazine’s readers were no longer hippies, but were now affluent and mainstream. The ads pointed to the buying power of the magazine’s audience—first through simplistic and powerful visuals, then through explanatory body copy:
To those of you who are still shortchanging the buying power of a Rolling Stone reader, deposit this in your information bank: Over two and a half million Rolling Stone readers are card-carrying capitalists, last year spending more than thirteen billion dollars in department store and other retail outlets. Cash in on the action in Rolling Stone.
In the first year alone, the campaign helped raise the ad sales by nearly 50 percent.