An ad for Women's Health's 'Game Changer' contest.


Women’s Health is using a familiar formula for its second annual Game Changers issue in October. The fitness-centric magazine will feature a “real person” on its peel-back subscriber cover — i.e., not a celebrity or fitness model — who it will choose via an open-call.

The winner of the contest will be flown to New York for a photo shoot, and she will be interviewed for a feature in the issue. According to vice president and publisher Laura Frerer-Schmidt, Women’s Health is looking for contestants who are “empowering” and “breaking glass ceilings.”

Both Women’s Health and sibling publication Men’s Health have run similar campaigns in the past where they tap unknown cover models who are selected via an open vote and by magazines’ editors. Normally, however, those contests target people who are on a fitness journey of some sort (such as The Ultimate Men’s Health Guy or Women’s Health’s Next Fitness Star).

Women’s Health noted that its October issue would also showcase well-known “game changers” and one of the women from that list will appear on the October issue’s actual cover. Last year Women’s Health put Reese Witherspoon on its cover, and featured influential women such as Michelle Obama, Shonda Rhimes and Jillian Michaels.

For the contest, Frerer-Schmidt told WWD she was approached by advertiser Isopure, which is currently working with Men’s Health on its Ultimate Guy search.

“Isopure wanted to do something special this year,” the publisher said, explaining that she’s noticed more advertisers are looking to a handful of media brands to make a “big impact” rather than a broad campaign.

Isopure creative director Melanie Rienzi expounded on the partnership: “We think that this program aligns very well to our brand Isopure. Our tagline is ‘We’re all more than muscle’ and our ads for the last few years have shown individuals who went beyond the gym and shared their incredible stories with us.”

The protein powder-maker will sponsor the subscriber cover, videos that showcase the finalists and the print and digital stories that will tout the contestants. Women’s Health noted that Isopure is currently running regular print and digital ads as part of the ad buy.

Submissions open on Tuesday on WHUltimateGamechanger.com, and will close at the end of the month. From there, Women’s Health editors will narrow down the finalists, who will submit essays and videos, to five. Readers will be able to vote on Women’s Health’s Web site in mid-April.

Women’s Health said editors, the voters and its (celebrity) Game Changer cover star, will play a role in selecting the winner of the contest.

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