Thursday, December 13, 2007

what media vehicle can beat this?

It contains about 316 pages.
28 pages are what may be referred to as editorial content.
Full page bleed, artistically pleasing photographs of beautiful women in beautiful clothes.
A handful of these pages had the actress René Zellweger, beautifully clad and made-up,
posing in fashion like photographs, shot in, i think, Paris.
Complemented by a truly deep interview.
Just kidding. It wasn't deep.

This being Original content exclusively produced for this vehicle.
But quite likely sponsored by the brands displayed on the models.
Mentioned by names in elegantly designed captions.

As I counted further I discovered 11 pages containing small notices,
gossip and party pictures of the beautiful and famous.
Tips on what bag to buy and such. What lipstick to use with the Christmas ham.
Best scents for I don't know what. Most of this material I suspect
is stuff they buy from the outside and package in their own style and lay-out.

A couple of pages contained the masthead.
Another page a few words from the editor in chief.
Editor in chief of what?, one may ask, considering the meager content.

This might have been one of the thinnest magazines out there,
if it hadn't been for the ads in it. About 250 or so pages out of the 316 being ads.
I probably missed a few as it was too tedious a job to count them.
Most of them curiously identical. Fashion brands, skin creams and perfumes mostly.

I've got nothing as such against pretty ads
with nice photographs in them.
I just wonder how this is possible?

People are actually paying money for a magazine
about fashion that basically only contains ads?
I don't get it.
Or are people who like clothes and nice shoes that shallow?

And what do the advertisers think they get out of it?
I mean, if you're ad number 68 on page 276, who would remember?
Yes I know, these brands are everywhere in every fashion book,
it's about staying on the map.

Even I recognized most of the names.

But hey, if some new brand tried to break through someone's skull bone,
would this vehicle be the one to do the job?

The name of the magazine is Harper's Bazaar.
The idea is ingenious, quite obviously.

I wonder, could a website ever,
ever get this much advertising with so little content to offer between the ads? has its fair share of ads,
mixed in with shopping advice and the typical tips on beauty secrets.
As a site is somewhat more time consuming to navigate I didn't bother
to check whether all the advertisers from
the magazine was also advertising on the site.
Don't think so after a quick click.

I've come across Vogue, and other fashion magazines as well,
and they all seem equally packed with ads,
equally lacking in original content.

Is fashion the only special interest area in which people are content with ads only?
I mean, nobody would ever buy a music magazine with only ads,
even though I know Sam Ash's catalogue is a bit of a turn on for people who like musicians gear.
Car freaks, however freaky, would never buy a car magazine without any other content than ads.
Not even porn gets away with it this easily.

Beat that! A thin shell filled with money.


-K- said...

I've never looked Harpers Bazaar myself but based on what you're saying, I have to hand it it them - they've beaten the system

T said...

bloody amazing, isn' it?