With a name that when first heard might generate a perplexed “Huh!”, ‘&’ (aka andpersand), touted as an international luxury lifestyle magazine, is set to debut in India on September 23, and the publisher, MaXposure Media Group, is leaving no stone unturned to make all the right noises for the launch.
When asked about the unusual name, Prakash Johari, Associate Publisher, said, “And is the most used word in English. It connotes a continuation, an addition. Moreover, we prefer to expand &, the symbol, to ‘andpersand’ instead of the original ‘ampersand’ so that even if you shorten it, it still sounds ‘and’.”
‘&’, a quarterly, will have four editions – Miami, India (Mumbai), Amsterdam and Dubai. Of these, the Miami edition was launched in June this year. Mumbai, India’s financial capital, has been chosen for the initial distribution of the magazine in India. The Group plans to launch the Amsterdam and Dubai editions by December 2006.
Explaining about the choice of the cities for distribution, Johari said, “These are big cities, are very fashion conscious, have a high concentration of English speaking people, and most importantly, a high number of affluent professionals with high disposable income.”
The magazine has adopted the events route to promote itself in India and has already lined up nine events for this year, including four events with Lamborghini. Moreover, the magazine will also be made available at five star hotels.
According to Johari, “Events and hotels offer the best opportunity to make available the magazine to the target readers. The magazine will be part of the ‘goodie bag’ handed over to participants and high class visitors to events. The idea is to see that our magazine reaches the right readers.”
Talking about competition, Johari said, “I can’t recall any magazine that offers the wide range that we do. There is ‘Marie Claire’ and ‘Cosmopolitan’ and ‘Man’s World’, but our topics are very diverse. Maybe when a magazine like ‘GQ’ is launched in India, then we will have some competition.”
‘&’, which has been priced at Rs 150, is targeting an initial circulation of 40,000 copies in India. The content is being generated by experts in areas as diverse as fashion, interior design, travel, technology, luxury automobiles, arts and literature. Mostly freelancers have been employed to generate that is fresh.
Meanwhile, the Group’s first event for creating a pre-launch buzz about the magazine in India is organising the premier of Hollywood movie ‘Miami Vice’ in association with Bacardi Mojito on September 14, preceded by a party in Mumbai on September 13.