Published - 03-June-2006
That’s what each women’s magazine seems to be telling every potential reader. Women's magazines arguably have a certain homogeneity to them. The glossy look, the thin, preposterously dressed women, the endless perfume and make-up ads. Yet we love the escapism they offer. The Indian market place has exploded with brands and magazine in the last 10 years, and now, there’s another – Marie Claire’s India edition, launched on the 2nd of June. Shalini Amarnani casts an analytical look at the world of Indian Women's magazines – which are definitely bracing for renewed battle with one more aggressor – and tries to see where Marie Claire is likely to find its place.
The battle for the Indian Woman's mind-space began some 10 years ago. Till then the English magazine-consuming population had a limited choice reading women Eve's Weekly, Femina and Women's Era.
The paper quality was poor, as was the photographic element. The content was mainly about how to be a blushing bride, handle your in-laws and dish out the most scrumptious food. Woman' Era is still stuck in that era.
Foreign magazines like Vogue, Harper Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Marie Claire and the like would come to you only if you had friends coming from abroad, or you could catch a year-old issue at the raddiwala.
Enter stage left : Marie Claire
After a decade we are seeing the entry of another big international name. The entry of Marie Claire in the Indian market from the solid Outlook Group has rattled a few quarters. The advertising pie will be redistributed, as will the readership. Claims Suresh Selveraj, the magazine’s Associate Publisher, “Marie Claire's entry in India will change the journalist standards amongst the women's magazine in India.”
Marie Claire is known worldwide as a fashion magazine for the thinking woman. So, besides a lot of elegant fashion and beauty they have strong features content. Says Editor Shefalee Vasudev, “We have first-person articles, special investigative reports, relationships, photo stories, and hope to develop a lot of bold and beautiful reports that tell people about India and not the rich urban India. We believe in being real. So we will talk about issues in India as they are. Our fashion content is slick and doable – it doesn't come from a dream factory but it shows women possibilities in fashion. And leaves them with many good ideas.”
The older players are shuffling along The change in Women's magazines in India came with the entry of Cosmopolitan and Elle in the Indian marketplace. It shook the players out of their slumber and got them rethinking their strategy. In this story, one has attempted to analyze the major players in this arena, and their strengths and weaknesses.
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