Ever since Vice plastered an ad on its cover that was only visible in the dark, magazines have been researching better ways to sell out. Now Esquire has made a breakthrough in invisible cover ads!

The jaunty men's magazine has an ad on its new issue that is under a flap, on the front cover, right underneath Barack Obama's face. Is that even legal? Ha, not only is it legal, it's the future of magazines! Why should all those fractions of millimeters between the fraction of unsellable cover space and the first of 38 ad pages that lead off the magazine go unsold? And the idea for this came not from a marketing person, but straight from Esquire's editor, David Granger.

Including ads with those new types of covers was necessary, Mr. Granger said, because “the reality of the world is that if I want to do things that are adventurous editorially, to pay for them we have to find partners to share costs.”

The revenue that this ad produced will go towards wardrobe costs for Esquire's upcoming cover story, "Men in Adventurous Scarves."

[Story and pic via NYT]