What is common between a Louis Vuitton accessory print ad featuring Sean Connery and one with the beautiful Aishwarya Rai peddling the volume mascara of L’oreal?
Both sell dreams – of different kinds, but dreams nevertheless. Each element of these ads must speak for itself, the photography, the layout, the star and the product. This is where a magazine comes to the fore. It’s only in a magazine that an ad is consumed with as much care and interest as the editorial. These ads build brands and in the process create sales too.
Magazines provide three unique propositions unlike other media, namely quality of reproduction, which is critical for luxury brands; a great ambience both in edit and ad (which one just cannot ensure either in newspapers or on television); and lastly, a targeted audience (you don’t sell an AMG to an office executive. Do you?).
Magazines are heterogeneous by nature and hence, some smaller genres are likely to get overlooked in the process. Keeping the B2B magazines out of the ambit of this article, for obvious reasons, we would like to focus on the magnificent seven of the magazine industry.
Tourism boards: Sell dream destinations, build larger consensus on travelling to a country/ state and ultimately energise trade.
Luxury cars: Big cars are sold on brand value and not just the features. There is no better medium to convey the luxurious feel of a car, even detailing the features in the process.
Luxury watches: Two hundred and fifty years of legacy requires every bit of the advertising to be consumed individually. The last detail must stand out.
Jewellery: How else can you reach a woman who is likely to initially drool over them and then find every means to acquire them?
Financial instruments: This works purely for the details which are just so required to explain the complex world of banking and finance.
Cosmetics/ grooming: Women, women and women. For them, the ads of this category are as important as the edit and they do not mind seeing as many new shades of their lipstick brand at their own leisure.
Garments & accessories/ Styling: This category stands out in magazines due to its need to get the reproduction just so right, and to build brands in a cluttered market which is highly competitive comprising the organised and the unorganised markets.
To sum up, advertising in magazines does help to build brands, create imagery which is so important in today’s cluttered world, engage readers and be very effective in communicating messages.
(Mitrajit Bhattacharya, President & Publisher, Chitralekha Group.)