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Market Summary - Magazine Advertising Insight

Media Update:

Magazine Advertising Insight


QTR 3 2024


Magazine Advertising - PPA

At a Glance

Hot Topics


Moments that matter

Magnetic’s‘ Moments that Matter’ study considers the relationship that consumers have with magazine content in the context of the moment, and the implications for advertising and marketing

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The pursuit of happiness

The pursuit of happiness takes different forms for Millennials vs Gen X but finds a natural home in magazine media, writes Magnetic Insight Exec Lizzie Rankin.

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Connected consumers

In Connected Consumers 2 Time Inc. UK takes a fresh look at the impact that various magazine media channels have on the purchase journey

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What is Magazine Advertising?

Magazines provide advertisers with an extremely targeted, extremely engaging platform that both informs and influences consumers.

What makes magazine advertising different to other media channels?

A strong and intimate relationship exists between readers and their chosen magazines.

  • Relevance: to the readers, the editorial and the advertising in their magazine is a seamless stream of relevant, interesting and useful information
  • Trust: Magazines are highly trusted brands in their own right. Readers rely on the expertise of the editorial team to know the best of their subject, and they share that – across many platforms: print, .com., tablet, Twitter, Facebook, e-mails and events
  • Consumption style: Magazine reading is a very personal experience. Content, print or tablet, is most commonly consumed alone; in the evening; on the sofa and singularly i.e. with no other media being on/active or intruding.
  • Mood when consuming content: Readers of magazines are mostly relaxed, engaged, inquisitive: Main reasons for choosing to read a magazine are To RELAX, To ESCAPE, to LEARN and to STIMULATE IDEAS … ideas of what to do, where to go, how to think about a particular issues … and what to buy.
  • Halo effect on advertising: Advertisers exposed to readers in this environment of RELEVANCE, TRUST and CALM, CURIOUS CONSUMPTION benefit by being (re)introduced to audiences within that magazine branded environment.
  • Positive emotion:  The feelings audiences have towards their magazine brands transfer to 3rd party brands advertising within them. Audiences refer to adverts in magazines as 'the most suitable to me,' 'the most useful,' the least annoying' and 'the least interruptive.'

How Does Magazine Advertising Work?

Magazine brands are 'appointments to view' media and a catalyst for a break. Consistently described as a 'reward' and a 'break from work / housework / homework,' they allow the audience to create an 'oasis of engagement' where the magazine brand is the sole focus of attention. 

In this reading paradigm, each advert also has a moment where it is the sole focus of attention. When the advertised brand is relevant, the message is compelling and the advert engaging and easy to understand, the communication power is impressive. 

54% of magazine editorial pages are recalled. It's exactly the same for advertising pages. 

Display examples:

A special mechanic example: (The torn out page represents the benefits of watching a film without adverts

Interactive tablet example / GQ magazine:

Interactive tablet example / LEXUS:

Interactive SMART PHONE example / FHM collections:

Increasingly common are deeper collaborations whereby an advertiser brand truly partners with a magazine editorial and commercial team to develop and deliver content, customer experiences and brand interactions only achievable in partnership.

Key Features & Benefits of Magazine Advertising

Calm, considered consumption:
Magazine brands are 'appointment to view' media and a catalyst for a break. They are the least multi-tasked or media meshed media. 

68% of reading is done alone, compared to 24% of TV viewing. 

Content consumption including adverts, rests entirely with the user. Where, when, how long, how often and in what order is all under the readers command. Nothing is thrust at them. Magazines create a quiet, engaged, curious and open-minded customer, receptive to advertising. 

Advertising Relevance: 

To the readers, each page is equally valid. There is a seamless blend of editorial and advertising. Each page provides new and engaging information with the potential to be useful to their life. 

Magazine advertising is consistently ranked as, 

#1: Most Relevant

#1: Most useful 

Advertising Influence:
Readers regard advertising as an essential part of the magazine experience. 

Advert pages and Editorial pages have exactly the same recall (54%) amongst audiences.

They have almost an identical influence on audience, this is: 63% for advertising and 66% for editorial.

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No clutter issue:
Most broadcast media have an issue with advertising clutter - competing adverts or too many adverts disrupting audience's pleasure.

Magazines operate differently. Each page, advert or editorial is regarded as part of the seamless mix of useful content. There are no ad breaks in magazines, just content.

Consequently advert recall and recognition are not affected by either; more adverts in the magazine, a close proximity of other adverts nor the proximity or competitive adverts.

Magazine advertising is consistently ranked as:

#1. Least annoying

#1. Least intrusive

‘Influencer’ Marketing and Word of Mouth:
Influencers segment around sources of expert information in their categories of personal interest. And that means magazines. 
  • Over 90% of Influentials in any given category read magazines. 
  • 49% of women often talk to other people about things they read in magazines. 
  • 62% of 15-35 women say the same. 
This ability to reach and inspire society's influence is recognised by the 'The Word of Mouth Marketing Association' who say, 'By virtue of it's widespread reach, television sparks the most brand conversations by volume. But print is better than any other media at reaching Influencers. And Influencers are the most active recommenders.'

Return on Investment:
Printed magazines advertising has the highest ROI of all media”.
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Multiple channels and contact points:

Magazine brands are multi platform. Advertising opportunities exist in magazine branded environments;
  • in print
  • through special print mechanics (e.g. samples, inserts, paper technologies …
  • online
  • magazine social network channels and feed
  • e-mail & subscriber lists 
  • tablet apps and digital editions
  • mobile phone
… and any combination of the above

Key Audience Strength of Magazine Advertising

  • The core attribute of a magazine brand is universal to all: they are trusted and desired by audiences in equal measure. They get ‘close’ to their audiences and are influential in their personal or professional lives. To the community which segments around a magazine brand, what they say matters, and that powerful pull does not diminish across platforms.
  • A unique and intimate relationship with audiences resulting in an unmatched levels of engagement
  • Magazines reach 80% of the population, so can be used for mass market campaigns but also allow for targeting of consumers by specific interest or life-stage
  • Magazine brands are multi-platform
  • Magazines attract young, upmarket audiences
  • Magazines reach Influentials and are the best place to instigate paid-for WOM marketing
  • Audiences are more engaged than they are with any other media. They don’t multi- task. They look at each page.
  • Advertising is regarded as an essential part of the experience. There are no ‘ad breaks’ in magazines.
  • Audiences are receptive to targeted advertising, consumed how and when they like … so the adverts work.

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