Yesterday Time Magazine released a screenshot of its newest cover. The cover instantly started trending around the internet because the majority of people find it hilarious/just plain bad. Now, Time Magazine has actually joined in the fun and is sharing the hilarious memes created from that cover themselves.
Earlier today I wrote a post about this entire cover story/fiasco. Hundreds of other news agencies around the world have already commented on this surprising cover choice but many Fstoppers readers seem to actually like it. Some of our readers have painted me as a bully for even bringing up the cover. Other readers have commented that they believe the entire thing was a setup; a genius attempt at a viral marketing campaign. These people are suggesting that Time Magazine purposefully published a terrible cover to get more, free media coverage (like this very post) about the new issue. This theory seemed pretty far fetched to me but the subject of the cover, Palmer Luckey, has joined in the fun of mocking the cover himself by changing his profile picture on his Facebook page.
Time Magazine has now taken things a step further by posting the most hilarious memes on their own website. Obviously they don't mention anything negative about the image/cover itself, but they at least seem to have a good sense of humor about it.
So the question now becomes, did Time Magazine purposefully publish a bad picture to get the internet excited about this story/issue? I still don't think so. It's too risky. How could they have predicted this would have happened? It also lowers their perceived value in many ways. If I were in charge of Time I might publicly admit that it WAS a marketing ploy at this point, even if it wasn't, to gain some respect back, but I don't see that happening. So then why are they posting about the jokes now? Easy pageviews? Making the best of a bad situation? Or is everything going exactly according to their master plan?
What do you think? Could they have possibly published a bad picture to entice the internet into making memes and in turn getting me to write this very post? I can't jump on that conspiracy theory bandwagon just yet but one thing cannot be debated; This cover image has given Time Magazine a new audience, and in turn will make the magazine a lot of money.