All 6 entries tagged Lifestyle Magazines

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April 22, 2008

Acorn Classification System for Lifestyles

Acorn Classification System for Lifestyles

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This is a map showing all ACORN classification categories, groups and types. Click on a category, group or type to view some sample lifestyle information comparing that classification to the rest of the UK population.

ACORN is a market research company which breaks down the population in a myriad of different ways in order to allow comapnaies to analyse and create and construct their target market / target audience more effectively and cost-effectively than ever.

The tools are geodemographic ones. This means that areas are broken down into postcodes (postcode lottery) and the people living there (the demographic) is researched so that as much information about core indicateors and variables is gathered and assessed.

How ACORN describe their product

ACORN categorises all 1.9 million UK postcodes, which have been described using over 125 demographic statistics within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 287 lifestyle variables, making it the most powerful discriminator, giving a clearer understanding of clients and prospects.

Creating and constructing a market

Markets for goods or services are constructed and created rather than "found". Goods and services have products which may be services or physical products.

Because consumers are becoming increasingly fragmented in their tastes and spending habits it is difficult to invent a new product or servicve to compete with older ones. However rich the target market there is an upperlimit on what people are going to spend. to create a market for another product / service is to compete with something else for the same pot of money. This is why branding and advertising are very important tools of marketing. 

Geodemographics are very important as a marketing tool. You need to know how many people there are in a particular area and what amounts of money people have and what they are likely to spend thier money on. Clearly  spending money on advertising of expensive cars in newspapers usually consumed by the category described as hard-pressed in the ACORN system below would be pointless.

The core indicators include:

  • Income
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity

ACORN Classifcation Map

This is a map showing all ACORN classification categories, groups and types. Click on a category, group or type to view some sample lifestyle information comparing that classification to the rest of the UK population.

Wealthy Achievers Wealthy Executives 01 - Affluent mature professionals, large houses
02 - Affluent working families with mortgages
03 - Villages with wealthy commuters
04 - Well-off managers, larger houses
Affluent Greys 05 - Older affluent professionals
06 - Farming communities

07 - Old people, detached houses

08 - Mature couples, smaller detached houses
Flourishing Families 09 - Larger families, prosperous suburbs
10 - Well-off working families with mortgages
11 - Well-off managers, detached houses
12 - Large families & houses in rural areas
Urban Prosperity Prosperous Professionals 13 - Well-off professionals, larger houses and converted flats
14 - Older Professionals in detached houses and apartments
Educated Urbanites 15 - Affluent urban professionals, flats
16 - Prosperous young professionals, flats
17 - Young educated workers, flats
18 - Multi-ethnic young, converted flats
19 - Suburban privately renting professionals
Aspiring Singles 20 - Student flats and cosmopolitan sharers
21 - Singles & sharers, multi-ethnic areas
22 - Low income singles, small rented flats
23 - Student Terraces
Comfortably Off Starting Out 24 - Young couples, flats and terraces
25 - White collar singles/sharers, terraces
Secure Families 26 - Younger white-collar couples with mortgages
27 - Middle income, home owning areas
28 - Working families with mortgages

29 - Mature families in suburban semis

30 - Established home owning workers
31 - Home owning Asian family areas
Settled Suburbia 32 - Retired home owners
33 - Middle income, older couples
34 - Lower income people, semis
Prudent Pensioners 35 - Elderly singles, purpose built flats
36 - Older people, flats
Moderate Means Asian Communities 37 - Crowded Asian terraces
38 - Low income Asian families
Post Industrial Families 39 - Skilled older family terraces
40 - Young family workers
Blue Collar Roots 41 - Skilled workers, semis and terraces
42 - Home owning, terraces
43 - Older rented terraces
Hard Pressed Struggling Families 44 - Low income larger families, semis
45 - Older people, low income, small semis
46 - Low income, routine jobs, unemployment
47 - Low rise terraced estates of poorly-off workers
48 - Low incomes, high unemployment, single parents
49 - Large families, many children, poorly educated
Burdened Singles 50 - Council flats, single elderly people
51 - Council terraces, unemployment, many singles
52 - Council flats, single parents, unemployment
High Rise Hardship 53 - Old people in high rise flats
54 - Singles & single parents, high rise estates
Inner City Adversity 55 - Multi-ethnic purpose built estates
56 - Multi-ethnic, crowded flats

ACORN updated to suit  contemporary "lifstyles"

Consumer habits and behaviour has changed over the past decade, and the new ACORN takes into account these key shifts.

Avon and Somerset Police As the wealth of the nation increases and borrowing gets easier, car ownership has risen and more people commute by car.
Avon and Somerset Police More consumers are asset rich, with a growth of 20% of homeowners having paid off their mortgages.
Avon and Somerset Police Conversely there is much less unemployment.
Avon and Somerset Police New building has increased with more detached and semi-detached properties. There are now different types of people living in traditional housing.
Avon and Somerset Police The workplace is now more flexible, illustrated by an increase in people working from home.
Avon and Somerset Police The population is becoming more educated and the number of students has nearly doubled.
Avon and Somerset Police Family structure is changing, with significant growth in single parents. Despite an increase of grown-up children remaining in the family home, there are more “empty nester” consumers than ever before as older couples become free of the financial responsibility of schoolchildren.
Avon and Somerset Police We are seeing a significant growth of the very elderly, the population is getting older.

Lifestyle Magazines and ACORN

Lifestyle magazines like Grazia and GQ exist to act as vehicles for advertising.  These magazines aim at relatively small sections of the population and their content and advertising are interwoven into atight mesh with which to trap the unwary person and turn them into a consumer.

Lifestyle magaziners are especially useful for those advertising in them because the magazines will often be "read" by much larger numbers than the official circulation figure suggests.

See How ACORN assesses the area you live in:

upmystreet. You will neeed to type in your postcode.

March 24, 2008

Lifestyle Magazines Hub Page

Lifestyle Magazines Hub Page


This page is a hub page for your Lifestyle magazines unit component of textual analysis. As new pages are developed links will be placed here in order to help you navigate to relevant pages on this blog.

What is a Lifestyle Magazine?

The Secrets of Magazine Cover Design  

Lifestyel Magazines and Branding

Grazia Magazine

Advertising and Magazines 

Lifestyle, Celebrity and Advertising

Magazines and Print Publishing  

Glossary of Magazine Terms  

The Magazine Industry  

Magazine Ownership and Control in the UK

ACORN Marketing classification for targeting advertising

Lifetyle Magazines & Branding

Lifestyle Magazines and Branding  

Return to Lifestyle Magazines Hub  

If one applies the categories of lifestyle applied to consumption as discussed above then it is important to have role models to help generate the desire to consume. The generation of the desire to consume goes beyond what might normally be expected of people in that it can encourage people to aspire to certain ways of living that can easily be reached provided one is prepared to spend money. It then is a matter of how the individual is prepared to spend that money. Magazines and other forms of media which can encourage the branding of goods are an extremely important mechanism for this.  

What is Branding?

There are many different definitions of a brand, the most effective description however, is that a brand is a name or symbol that is commonly known to identify a company or it’s products and separate them from the competition.

A well-known brand is generally regarded as one that people will recognise, often even if they do not know about the company or its products/services. These are usually the businesses name or the name of a product, although it can also include the name of a feature or style of a product.
Wolff Olins is a major branding company. Check out this page to see some of the future for branding. you should make sure you check out the TED video linked to the page. It really does do what it says on the box. (It does seem to be an image of what Web 3.0 might be as well ).
An Activity
  1. When you have suitably recovered think about the sponsorship and branding of the TED talks.
  2. How do you think sponsorship of TED can help build and maintain the brand of the company doing the sponsoring?

The overall ‘branding’ of a company or product can also stretch to a logo, symbol, or even design features (E.g.: Regularly used colours or layouts, such as red and white for Coca Cola.) that identify the company or its products/services. A lifestyle magazine itself becomes a brand in order to distinguish itself from other lifestyle magazines. Usually these magazines will have very tightly defined target markets and audiences. 

An example of powerful branding is Nike:
The Nike brand name is known throughout the world. Large numbers of people can identify the name and logo even if they have never bought any of their products.
However, not only is the company name a brand, but the logo (The ‘tick’ symbol) is also a strong piece of branding in its own right. The majority of people that are aware of the company can also identify it (or its products) from this symbol alone.
The sports clothing and running shoe company Adidas a competitor of Nike is well known for using three stripes on its range of products. This design feature branding allows people to identify their products, even if the Adidas brand name and logo is not present. 
How Branding Can  Benefit  Business

(i) Recognition and Loyalty

The main benefit of branding is that customers are much more likely to remember a business. A strong brand name and logo/image helps to keep a company image in the mind of  potential customers.

If a company sells products that are often bought on impulse, a customer recognising your brand could mean the difference between no-sale and a sale. This is very important in the world of clothing for example.
Even if the customer was not aware of a particular product, if they trust a brand, they are likely to buy a new or unfamiliar product. If  customers are  happy with a companies products or services, a brand can help to build customer loyalty across  a company.   Apple is a good example of a company who seeks to brand itself well in  the world of computers and also  items such as iPods  and now the iPhone.

(ii) Image of Size
A strong brand will project an image of a large and established business to your potential customers. People usually associate branding with larger businesses that have the money to spend on advertising and promotion. Effective branding,  can make a business appear to be much bigger and more important than it really is.

An image of size and establishment can be especially important when a customer wants reassurance that a company will still be around in a few years time.

(iii) Image of Quality

A strong brand projects an image of high quality. Many people see the brand as a part of a product or service that helps to show its quality and value. good branding also increase the social caché. iPods are more popular than Creative Zens partially because of branding.

A strong arguement for branding says that if a person is shown two or more identical products, only one of which is branded; they will almost always believe the branded item is higher quality. As a result they are prepared to pay a premium for this product.

If you can create effective branding, then over time the image of quality in your business will usually go up. Of course, branding cannot replace good quality, and bad publicity will damage a brand (and your businesses image), especially if it continues over a long period of time.
(iv) Image of Experience and Reliability

A strong brand creates an image of an established business that has been around for long enough to become well known. succcess breeds success.  A branded business is more likely to be seen as experienced in designing their products or providing services. As a result they will generally be seen as more reliable and trustworthy than an unbranded business. Many people also believe that a business would be hesitant to put their brand name on something that was of poor quality.  
(v) Multiple Products

If your business has a strong brand, it allows you to link together several different products or ranges. You can put your brand name on every product or service you sell, meaning that customers for one product will be more likely to buy another product from you.
For Example:

Sony sells a range of electronic consumer products laptop computers, music equipment, games consoles, camcorders, cameras, DVD players, mobile phones, and etc all under the Sony brand name.


Please feel free to use the comments box at the end of this posting to develop the discussion 
  • Please identify three well known brands from your two lifestyle magazines.
  • Now research these brands and print off examples where relevant of how they build their brand in other areas of print and non-print media
  • Where branding is done via broadcast technologies identify which channels the branding is done on and when they are broadcast. 
Things you should identify during this activity.
  1. Name of the brand
  2. Which products are being promoted
  3. How the brand is being promoted over and above the specific product
  4. Who the target audience is (gender / age/ ethnicity etc)
  5. What kind of aspirations are being linked to the brand
  6. Comment on how well you think the brand in question is managing to achieve its aims

Lifestyle Magazines and the Discourse of Consumption

You will by now have recognised the importance of lifestyle magazines as part of an interrelated discourse of consumption. By this I mean a whole field of activities which work effectively together to encourage people to consume as much as they possibly can.  

March 20, 2008

What is a Lifestyle Magazine

What is a Lifestyle Magazine?

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What is Lifestyle?

The originates in sociology but has changed in its primary meaning since it was first used towards the end of the 1960s. Then it was more about how the ways in which people live are indicative of thier class position in society.  

In more recent work, the concept has been used more widely still to designate the tastes, attitudes, possessions or ways of behaving of any social group which distinguish it from any other social groups. In this sense anyconnectionbetween the concept of that and social class has been severed. (Abercrombie et al. Penguin Dictionary of Sociology).  

Consumer Culture

To fully understand the notion of lifestyle we need to have an understanding of what is meant by consumer culture.  This term argues that societies are increasingly organised around modes (ways) of consumption. The main charctersitics of the discussion within sociology and cultural studies has been organised arounfd the following points:

Rising Affluence. It is argued that the inhabitants of Western Societies now have far more money to spend on consumer goods, holidays and leisure.  

Working hours have been falling. Arguably this is leaving far more time for leisure pursuits.

Identity.  People are now taking thier identity more from what they consume and their activities as consumers and in their leisure. Previously people's work used to a far greater marker of identity. This particualr notion of identity works well with the arguments of sociologists like a?nthony Giddens who argue that as the older key factors influencing identity decrease in importance so self-reflexivity of people who thinl about thier identity and work to develp or change it increases. The older forms of identity such as class and work and also place are breaking down because of globalisation. 

The Aestheticisation of Everyday Life. There is far greater interest in the presentation of an image and construction of a lifestyl. The acquisition of certain goods are used as markers of a certain social position. 

Positional Goods.  These goods or services have desirability because they are scarce and therefore in short supply. Scarcity can be in both price or through cult status. Paradoxically the more people acquire them the less desirable they become. (The Burberry hat which became a 'Chav' symbol is perhaps an extreme example). Ownership of a Bentley/Aston Martin or a Hermes handbag are clear examples of positional goods. Of course there is a clear hierarchy in each range of products. Sometimes other goods will try to position themselves in relation to these goods. The relationship between Breitling watches and Bentley is a good example.

Consumption Cleavages. In the 19th and earlier part of the 20th century social class, race and gender were the major sources of social division. It is argued that these social divisions have been replaced by consumption cleavages describing the patterns of consumption above.

Growth of Consumer Power. It is argued that in consumer societies the consumer gains power at the expense of the producers. These producers may provide goods or be professionals offering services such as doctors, lawyers or teachers. The economic position of the consumer can in some respects be seen to be replacing political rights and duties - the consumer is replacing the citizen? 

Increasing Commodification of Everyday Life. The market is extending into all areas of life, shopping has become a leqaisure activity rather than a chore. 

These arguments tend to focus on the fact that in the past sociologists focused too much on issues of production in society including work experiences and the effects of paid work and not enough on issues of consumption. 

However many argue that this is not the case and that the increasing focus upon consumption rather than empowering consumers merely extends capitalist values. Ultimately it further polarises society into rich and poor.

Lifestyle Magazines and Branding  

If one applies the categories of lifestyle applied to consumption as discussed above then it is important to have role models to help generate the desire to consume. The generation of the desire to consume goes beyond what might normally be expected of people in that it can encourage people to aspire to certain ways of living that can easily be reached provided one is prepared to spend money. It then is a matter of how the individual is prepared to spend that money. Magazines and other forms of media which can encourage the branding of goods are an extremely important mechanism for this.  

Lifestyle Magazines and Gender

The markets that are created for lifestyle magazines frequently revolve around the issues of gender construction. The frequent use of nearly naked women on the front of GQ is an excellent example of the continuing predominance of a constructed male gaze despite or more likely as a backlash response to feminism which at its core demanded women to be accepted on their own terms rather than being constructed as sex objects. Below is an extract from arecent Guardian discussion about lifestyle magazines:

Nicole Kidman is an award-winning actor. So too is Maggie Gyllenhaal. So why do they - and other talented female Hollywood stars - still have to expose their bodies in order to get into the public eye? Kira Cochrane despairs

Kira Cochrane in August 2007 was pleased to see that the Lad's mags especially Loaded suffered a severe downturn in their circulation. She notes that it was magazines like Loaded that rapidly caused GQ to change its policy about naked or near naked women on the front cover. The fact of the matter is that these magazine were very much a backlash against the demands of feminism to be treated as normal humans rather than objects of the male gaze:

So it was at the end of last week, when I read about the problems facing the "lads' mags" sector. ABC circulation figures for the first half of this year painted a bleak picture for those weekly and monthly paeans to beer, birds, cars and football, with a year-on-year sales drop of 25.9 per cent for the market bestseller, FHM, 18.1 per cent for Zoo and 9 per cent for Nuts. But the magazine that recorded the biggest sales plummet, with readers deserting it in droves, was Loaded, which suffered a 35 per cent drop in circulation from the same period last year.

Here are some before Loaded and after Loaded GQ front covers:

First Issue of GQ Cover

The first ever issue of GQ with politician Michael Hesseltine on the cover
1991 GQ Cover with Major
A 1991 GQ cover with Prime Minister John Major

GQ 1999 Cover

GQ 1999 had long since revoked on its promise never to put nude women on its cover

June 2008 Cover

The recent GQ practice does seem to be having near naked intelligent women on the cover, which supports Cochrane's arguments

Web Comments on Lifstyle (notes)

At the end of the day, magazines are about communities of interest, whether professional or lifestyle driven. If magazines keep that driving mantra in mind, and use the Web for all its is worth, things could begin to look brighter and bigger on the monetary side soon. (Magazines Online: A Brief EssayBy Rafat Ali - Sun 09 Sep 2007)

THE teenage lifestyle magazine market is in “serious decline”, with ABC results next week expected to reveal a significant fall in circulation numbers, according to industry sources.

The findings will be released just days after Emap, the media group, closed Sneak, the teenage celebrity gossip magazine, conceding that teenagers were now getting their showbiz news on the internet. Smash Hits magazine was also closed by Emap six months ago after 30 years in business. (August 12, 2006)

ABC Case Study on 89 Magazine


Times September 2006 on Men's Weeklies challenging the Monthlies

Cultures of Masculinity Google extract of book by Tim Edwards

Guardian on top Ten Lifestyle mags of 2006

Environment and planning D:  Making Sense of Men's Lifestyle Magazines

BBC launch Pre-Teen Lifestyle Magazine Amy 2006

UK Youth Lifestyle magazines

ABC consumer Lifestyle Magazine Report 2006

Representations of Gender in Lifestyle Magazines

Intelligent Life is the new quarterly magazine offering from The Economist, a lifestyle magazine that, says the accompanying blurb "will be more than just a catalogue of the things for readers to buy". Oops. From Guardian Organgrinder.

Interview: Sarah Joseph, Emel magazine (Evening Standard) Sarah Joseph edits Britain's only Muslim lifestyle magazine. She says it can help show there is more to Islam than prayer and politics. By David Rowan

A2 Media Studies notes on Gender and Magazines

Marketing tosh from brandlab UK about Men's Lifestyle Mags

Green Lifestyle Magazine (Consume in order not to consume? )

Ethnic diversity in UK Media

April 30, 2006 Site test: Havens for busy women

Design Week Mag-Power

'Intelligent Life', an offshoot of the renowned title, aims to be warm, people-centred and philanthropic. Ian Burrell reports.  The Independent September 2007

David Gauntlett, Media, Gender and Identity:An Introduction. Review in Journal of Consumer Culture

Laurei Taylor on consumer culture BBC Thinking Aloud


Benwell Bethan (Ed)  Masculinity and Men's Lifestyle Magazines. Oxford: Blackwell

Horsley Ross.  Men’s Lifestyle Magazines and the Construction of Male Identity. PhD thesis which can be downloaded in its entirety.

March 19, 2008

Grazia Magazine

Grazia Magazine

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Grazia Contemporary

A recent Grazia (May 2007) with someone who passes for being a "Celebrity". The recent covers have changed from the earlier versions of Grazia with the head of the chosen "celebrity" replacing one of the letters of the masthead. Noticeable on this cover is the fact that there isn't a any kind of special promotion such as bags or shoes inside. It may well be that May is a thin time for products (as well as "celebs"). Autumn is too far away and all the designers have released their summer items and spent thier promotional budgets. A range of even more minor "celebrities" provides some teasers.

New Kid on the Block

Every now and again a magazine comes along that captures the moment. Marie Claire did it in the Eighties, the lads' mag Loaded did it in the Nineties. Grazia's news-'n'-shoes format is doing it right now. The word its readers use again and again is 'addicted'. (Observer March 2007)

Who is Behind Grazia Launch in 2005 & How Much Did it Cost to Establish it ? 

Grazia was launched two years ago based on the hunch that there was a gap in the market for a weekly magazine for women who buy monthlies. The format was inspired by Italian Grazia, a highly successful weekly fashion glossy which began in 1938. However lots of media experts said the idea would never work in Britain. Weekly magazines are notoriously expensive to pull off. EMAP, the company behind British Grazia, shelled out £16 million for the launch, making it the priciest magazine start-up ever. Meanwhile there were whispers that designer brands would not want to buy into a celebrity weekly format. 'People thought we were barking,' recalls EMAP's CEO Paul Keenan.  (Observer March 2007)

How Well is it Selling?

In last month's ABC figures its circulation had risen by 23 per cent. Combined sales over a month exceed 700,000, which means it outsells Glamour - the biggest-selling women's monthly magazine. Although this is nowhere near what traditional women's weeklies used to sell in the Seventies (Observer March 2007)

Who is its Target Audience?

In a way, the very success of the magazine lies in this unpretentious 'does-what-it-says-on-the-tin' style of publishing. Grazia is neither highbrow nor lowbrow. In fact, it is 'nobrow'. The launch team realised that old-fashioned class distinctions no longer work in Britain and that people are much more complex than their old socio-economic brackets suggest. In fact, actual social mobility is slower than it's been in generations but culturally we Brits pride ourselves on our ability to move both up and down. We can be intelligent and like disposable, trivial things; be broke but still hanker after quality. (Observer March 2007)

This all-inclusive mix is a clever trick. It means successful women, who thought women's weeklies were for their grandmothers, aren't embarrassed to be seen buying the magazine. (Observer March 2007)

'I would argue that there's virtually no reading matter in it at all,' says Angela McRobbie, professor of communications at Goldsmiths College London and an expert on women's magazines. 'At the same time the tone is such that it is perfectly acceptable for a middle-class graduate to read it.' (Observer March 2007)

Is it just another traditional Woman's Magazine?

One could argue that what makes up the essence of Grazia is still traditional women's magazine fodder - diets, kids, celebrities, love affairs, shoes, recipes, dating, parties, lipstick. (Observer March 2007)

Getting the Cover Right

The right cover image is crucial. So is the right story to go with it. By publishing weekly, Grazia has managed to turn these beautiful women's lives - both pampered and chaotic - into soap operas. As Linda Grant says: 'I am truly fascinated by whether Jennifer Aniston will ever recover from Brad Pitt. Or whether Kate Moss will ever see the truth about Pete.' (Observer March 2007)

Grazia's cover images have become instantly recognisable on the newsstands - where, incidentally, the traditional monthlies now struggle to stand out. In the early days, when the magazine was still in research, the team followed Italian Grazia's lead and used models on the covers. 'But in focus groups they bombed,' says Nicola Jeal, editor of Observer Woman, who was a consultant on the launch of Grazia. 'Then we tried beautiful air-brushed pictures of celebrities but they didn't take off either. It wasn't until we tried glossy real-life paparazzi pictures that the reaction totally changed. Women loved it.'  (Observer March 2007)

Grazia Cover 1

This Grazia is a little older than the earlier one and the masthead Grazia overlays the head of the "celebrity" in question. Its not a very elegant solution so the one above has been the preferred re-design. This one has the classic "HOT BUYS" which many do. Seems to be an obvious answer here to the typical question of how do these magazines promote consumption!

Capitalising on "Celebrity"

Despite appearances, our obsession with celebrity is a relatively new phenomenon - mushrooming in the past 10 years, partly due to the gap left by Princess Diana and partly encouraged by the popularity of bitchy gossip sites on the internet. The selling power of a handful of A-list women is difficult to underestimate. The Grazia cover girls are a select band: so far Kate Moss has featured 12 times, Jennifer Aniston 13 times, Victoria Beckham 17 times. We can't, it seems, get enough of them. Other favourites are Angelina Jolie, Sienna Miller and Madonna. (Observer March 2007)

(Sounds like a lack of "celebrities" to me :-). Anybody wishing to apply for the position of "Celebrity" can get career advice from the Celebrity Plus Training Agency [This is a full equal opportunities agency but intellectuals need not apply]

Fashionistas are Afficionados 

Stores like Topshop change their stock every week and, unlike the monthly magazines, Grazia is able to keep up with the turnaround.
Tania Littlehales is the PR for Marks & Spencer. 'Our designers definitely have Grazia and Grazia's readers in mind,' she says. Last season a navy-blue trapeze-style mac which was featured in the pages immediately sold out. 'Our designers can translate looks on the catwalk to the shop so quickly these days. We call it "fast fashion". We even hold back some of our budget specifically so we can respond quickly to new trends. Fashion is quicker and a weekly magazine like Grazia can cover that.' (Observer March 2007)

Can the monthly magazines compete? (Do we care ?)

Sally O'Sullivan... thinks there's still room for both. 'There are still some fantastic magazines out there. The magazine audience in this country is huge and we produce the best in the world. A woman will very happily buy Grazia as well as her favourite monthly, be it Vogue or Marie Claire. A monthly gives you a totally different experience.'  (Observer March 2007)

Grazia 2


Guardian analysis of Grazia March 2007

David Rowan Editor Jewish Chronicle interviews Fiona MacKintosh of Grazia 

Glossary of Magazine Terms

Glossary of Magazine Terms

Return to Lifestyle Magazines Hub

Ad-get Features: These are closely linked to advertorials. This involves a special theme being proposed in order to sell advertising space in the magazine. This is a slightly murky field. For example the Times Higher Educational supplement might tell publishers when it is going to carry features and revews on a particular subject area such as ‘Media’ for example. Obviously this is likely to attract more buyers than usual from University media departments. But the publishers of Media textbooks will have no say in exactly what is written in the features or the reviews. With ‘lifestyle’ magazines this relationship breaks down rapidly and there is likely to be close collaboration between advertisers and the magazine.

Advertorials: sometimes known as ‘special features’ these are pages for which the advertiser pays but the pages are designed and written in the style of the magazine’s editorial. They are either done by the magazine’s own staff or else they are freelance writers working to the magazines style sheets. They help to ‘deliver the reader to the advertisers’ by deliberately blurring the difference between the editorial content and the adverts. In many ways they can be seen as an attempt to fool readers into thinking that the content is in some way ‘objective’. Certainly the net effect is - except to the exceptionally alert reader - to provide an underpinning of the product concerned. Researching 1966 for IPC (a magazine company) showed that readers assume that the editor has in some way been involved in the selection of the product shown in the advertisement feature. The closer the match between the advertisement feature and the editorial style of the magazine the more readers are likely to believe that the editor is endorsing the product. The brand values of the magazine will feed into the product being featured. The December 2004 GQ ‘GQ Promotion’ of a Volvo 4 wheel drive estate which lends an air of excitement to the product is effectively part of a campaign to reposition in the car market as something more ‘lifestyle’ linked to adrenalin rather than as in Britain an image of staidness and safety features. Clearly primarily aimed at younger men. These features are meant to carry a truth ‘warning’ indicating that it is some kind of advertisement.

AIDA. Advertisers have worked for many years trying develop models of consumer behaviour. Many work to a behavioural model called AIDA = Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. In this model the purpose of advertising is to raise awareness, then stimulate interest which leads to the creation of desire and subsequently action. Action wouldn’t necessarily take place for some time especially in the case of something big like car adverts for example. This meant that advertisers had to multiply the number of messages to reinforce their sales force. This model is dependent upon a ‘rational’ consumer acting in a linear way. Also many adverts failed to stimulate action or desire. Now most advertising strategies rely upon 2 main behavioural responses: raising awareness and stimulating interest.

AIR: see Average Issue Readership.

Average Issue Readership

Burst Advertising (also see Drip Advertising). Burst advertising concentrates on a range of vehicles with high frequency. This can be targeted at crucial times of year. For example the expensive Swiss watches advertised before Xmas (Cartier / Breitling) in GQ will also be present in the quality Newspapers (Financial Times, Independent, Telegraph, Times, Sunday Times etc). They will also be in magazines such as The Economist. GQ is the sort of magazine often consumed whilst waiting for business meetings or travelling to them and can be bought more for the adverts than the editorial content.

Circulation: Circulation differs from readership. A magazine will almost certainly have more readers than it has buyers. Each magazine generates figures which suggest the actual multiple involved. In other words whether it is 2 or 10 times the number of readers to buyers. Let us take GQ. It has a circulation of around 100,000 if its index comes out as 10 then it will have 1 million people reading it.

Consumer Magazines: These aim at leisure interest giving readers , advice information and entertainment relating to the reader’s leisure time. Magazines on cars, boats, bycycles, windsurfing, cinema etc. The actual quality of the writing and the target audience will of course vary. What links all these magazines is the fact that they will carry adverts to encourage the reader to consume relevant products in some way. Buying a car or a DVD or going to a film.

Coverage (Advertising). Coverage is the number of the target market reached. Coverage is usually measured in Average Issue Readership (AIR) for print media.

Cover lines : Information about major articles given on the front page of a magazine

Drip Advertising. (also see Burst Advertising). Drip advertising tends to focus on keeping up an awareness of a brand. You might see a a body product being advertised in a drip way after an initial Burst campaign to create awareness. Because perfumes etc are relatively cheap and regularly consumed it is important to keep brand awareness up. Buyers are likely to consume several times a year so it is important to try and maintain brand loyalty.

Frequency (advertising) is the number of times the target market is reached.

Left-side third: A lot of important information designed to attract potential readers is placed in the left-hand side vertical third of the front cover page. This is in case the magazine is displayed in a horizontal shelving system rather than a vertical one.

Lifestyle Magazines: a sub-genre of consumer magazines. Where titles are not clearly about one activity or interest they are likely to be about lifestyle. Most of these are for women and girls but since the 1990s several new ones have been aimed at men such as FHM, Loaded, Front and GQ. These have so far been very successful. A critic Cynthia White as far back as the 1970s asked of women’s magazines how far they supported acquisition as a primary goal of life thereby relegating or downgrading other goals in life. This can now be asked of men’s ‘Lifestyle Magazines’.

Magazines / Technology and Ads: For many years magazines benefited from having full colour reproduction. This kept key advertisers such as food, drinks, fashion and cosmetics. As technologies changed and colour became more available for newspapers so magazines had to develop new arguments. They have to convince Media Buyers that it is ‘common sense’ that women’s monthlies have more loyal readers than say newspaper colour supplements. They convince media buyers by going out and doing ‘qualitative research’.

Market Penetration: This term refers to the % of potential readers who actually buy the publication.

GQ would be looking at all males in the UK between say 18-30.

Masthead: The title of the magazine or newspaper. It is usually placed at the top of the front cover for display purposes

Media Planner (Advertising). Media plans are usually constructed to cover a year-long campaign. They are made with the client to discuss timing (Xmas for perfumes Feb/ Mar for new fashions etc). The planner makes sure that the campaign fits in with the rest of the marketing mix. It is important to ensure that outlets have sufficient stocks. Media planner is given information on who uses the brand, who uses competitors brands, who buys it who influences the purchasing decision. (Parents / Friends / work colleagues / experts etc. This influences the ‘creative’ brief. The media planner then draws a map of media audiences which would achieve the greatest coverage of the advertising target at the lowest price based upon media research. Usually several different plans are drawn up. Contingencies are also built in. If an economic recession takes places then sometimes one area of media will be dropped. This is often newspapers and magazines as for many (not al products TV exposure is more important). Please note for a magazine like GQ for example this might affect car and perfume ads but not high fashion which doesn’t tend to use TV precisely because they are targeting exclusivity and status not mass markets. Media planning has to create a balance in each plan between the number and frequency of the target audience reached set against the budget. Media planners traditionally compare the relative costs of delivering audience on the basis of its cost per thousand members of the target audience. This approach works best where delivering the greatest volume of the target market is important. It is calculated on the basis of the Rate Card price divided by projected numbers, divided by 1000. In 1992 the cost in women’s lifestyle magazines varied between £7.93 for Cosmopolitan to £18.67 for Harpers and Queen. This isn’t the real cost and is also based upon the readership rather than the precise target audience (that would differ considerably between Harpers and Cosmopolitan for example). Harpers is aimed at the A/B income level whilst Cosmopolitan is primarily C1 /B / A .

Advertising planners also build in other factors such as quality of editorial content. All these extra values are when factored in to produce a Valued Impressions per Pound (VIP) rating. Quality f editorial, production etc is multiplied by the audience and divided by the cost. On this basis the Financial Times is ahead of the Sun.

With magazines the editorial will be made to fit the space created by the adverts. Ads pay for more pages to be printed.

Plug: Information about the contents of a magazine or newspaper given on the front cover

Puff: Words or phrases on the cover of a magazine used to boost status

Product / Brand Awareness. ( Analysing the Adverts)

Raising Awareness. Adverts have to compete with other adverts, often with editorial content and with general consumer resistance. Because of the this the ‘creatives’ see the most important job of an advert as grabbing the reader’s attention. Some make assumptions that because interests and social life are so heavily gendered the best way to reach the attention of women is to use animals, royalty, weddings, babies fashion and astrology. For men it’s sports, sex, cars, politics, wars and disasters. In this way advertisers can help to create gendered stereotyping for example. Involving readers or providing shocks are common ways of raising awareness.

       News’ stories become a powerful advertising discourse. Constant product modifications, re-launches and redesigns reflect a need to be constantly be seen to be modern. ‘New improved’ maintains brand loyalty. Features on luxury cars are introduced lower down the market range. By revamping a product it also allows the possibility of creating more editorial comment in reviews / interviews etc.

       Prominence involves using a personality, event or object that the target market collectively recognises and understands. It is part of a shared cultural knowledge. (Madonna in Versace spring 2005 GQ) for example.

       Co-option an advertiser uses a major news or media event or other advertising campaigns for their own advertising. With food for example a government health recommendation of five pieces of fruit and veg per day can be used in diet adverts for example. Pollution can get body product makers inventing new protective creams etc.

       Arousing curiosity. Ask the question ‘Why’. For example ‘Why our moisturiser has red hot chillies in it ‘. In women’s magazines especially the ‘how to...’ Construction. - How to get a boyfriend / Lose weight while eating even more ice cream / how to find out if he’s cheating on you.

       Showmanship. When you have nothing to say use showmanship. Is there anything new to say about shampoos for example? The brand therefore needs high production values to give a sense of something ‘added value’ elevating the product.

       Sustaining Interest. The existence of editorial content is paradoxical because although mass media provide coverage it is difficult to grab interest and attention for products. Advertisers believe hat the consumers are often in the wrong frame of mind to receive advertising messages. ‘Creatives’ therefore try and make ads stand out by having better production values than the editorial. Sometimes humour and other devices can be used to break down consumer resistance.

       Getting around the media-wise consumer. The use of parody is becoming common to try and get around the sceptical consumer. The point is often not to be appearing to sell at all. The point being to allow the consume space to make up their own mind rather than feel that they are being manipulated. This leads to try it out , make up your own mind, we think you’ll agree with us ,if you do be careful! you might be seriously tempted.... type of advert.

       Distraction. This is used to break down the resistance of the consumer. Look for strong visuals and graphics in the magazines. Haagen Daas co-opted greater discussion in the media about ‘adventurous sex’ as a way to keep your partner suddenly linking ice-cream to sex. Erotic imagery distracted the consumer as well as being suggestive.

       Creating Consumer Pride. Much advertising is meant to assure existing users that they have made a wise choice encouraging to return to that brand which is still the best.

       Fear, Guilt and Insecurity. Problems with spots, keeping boyfriend / girlfriend, career failure, not fitting in, loss of status and esteem, loss of face, loss of wealth. Creatives create the fear and then answer these with ads such as tension - relax with our ...., distrust of business - caring capitalism / corporate charity.

       Fantasy and escapism. The Bounty Bar on a tropical island is to associate myths, metaphors and associations with a Brand.

       Consistency, familiarity and authority. People like to do business with people they know so advertisers try to establish their brands as trustworthy and familiar. How do advertisers make their claims credible? One way is by sheer dominance of the market-place. Getting a famous / neutral person to endorse the product. Science especially with body products for example. Words such as ‘Hydra Renewal’ (there is water content in the product)give an air of a laboratory. Use of ‘Experts’.

       Memory and action. Much of the advertising in lifestyle magazines such as GQ uses an indirect form of selling associated with an emotional experience or a value ‘ Pernod :Free the Spirit’ for example. ‘Carlsberg. The best lager in the world, probably’. There is a positive emotional response. When it comes to buying this is likely to differentiate the brand from say 5 other different lagers at the bar. Nike’s ‘ Just do it ‘ ads.

‘Surrogate’ Advertising. Traditional media such as radio, TV newspapers generally consume these media for the editorial content. For this reason the media audience for these surrogate media will always be distinct from the brand’s target audience. This will give an advantage to the specialist magazine.

Time of Consumption. Monthly magazines consumed over a month give a more protracted exposure than a daily paper.

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