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Advertisement forms have changed over the years with each period suited to fit the target audience. Technological developments in print have improved the quality of magazine advertisements and increased target audience market coverage.
Although technological improvements with online versions of magazines have improved, the print version has maintained a significant market share and demand. Magazines have narrowed their target audience with considerations such as gender, race, age, education levels among others which however do not prohibit those not targeted from accessing the magazines. The advertisements in the magazines, articles discussed, and cover pages fit the magazines’ target audience.
Magazine publications have a rich history of fashion, beauty, celebrity, recipes among other topical issues in the generation of the target audience. Women have many issues surrounding them and hence women magazines have existed over the years. Since these magazines have existed over several decades, it is important to analyze them with comparisons between the times in terms of objectives, changes and differences, target audience, messages and images covered.
Analysis of Magazine Advertisements
The women magazines in the market all are different in their target audience though covering similar issues. The years of origin, background and purposes also differ and change over time to accommodate generational changes (Hough-Yates 112). This analysis shall focus on Shape magazine, Marie Claire magazine and New Idea magazine.
Just as the name suggests, Shape Magazine is a women magazine that focuses on their fitness to attain the shape presumed to be preferable for the period of discussion. It is written in English language and its origin dates back to 1981 by Weider publications. This analysis shall involve the years 1983 and 2010 for Shape Magazine.
Shape Magazine in 1983
The 1980s decade was characterized by a pop culture and music which influenced the dancing style of the time. It is during this period that the concept of aerobics was introduced from the dance halls to the gym.
Health fitness of the time was based on keeping fit. Gyms were beginning to increase though not as much. Celebrity fitness formed the basis of fitness magazine advertisements. Shape magazine in 1983 targeted women of all years into fitness though it did not have age-specific articles. The products advertised at the time were mainly swim suits, fitness and gym wears.
The magazine did not emphasize on diet though dietary articles were present. The messages were based on maintenance of fit bodies, encouragement of aerobics, and use of celebrity fitness to influence women into fitness programs. The images mainly included women in swim suits to reveal the shapely bodies with the focus of celebrities of the time (Gough-Yates 208).
Shape Magazine in 2010
The fitness culture increased in the 2010 period with issues of weight loss, style and beauty, health and increase dietary consciousness. Shape magazine still targets women in the 2010 year with its base on their fitness and has a sexual appeal, which is, encouraging fitness as a way of being sexy. The implicit messages in the magazine do provide direct and increased scope coverage of fitness issues.
It allows the responses of the audience and then carries out research on such issues and publishes them. Fitness for shape magazines are based more on losing weight as a way of being fit and sexy such as obtaining a flat stomach, increased advice on healthy eating and dieting, increased coverage of women celebrities work outs, lifestyles and advice, different articles on losing of weight and how to attain a perfect shape faster, videos on work outs and other beauty and style issues.
The products advertised in Shape magazine are very many and fall into the category of the article discussed including fitness gadgets, dietary books, work out programs, beauty products, dieting products, slimming products, weight management mechanisms and evaluation products among others. The images are more on expert advice on weight related issues; they include celebrities and have a sexual appeal added to them.
Shape magazine is similar to that of 1983 in the target audience, images especially cover images with swim suits although those of 1983 emphasize on the sexual appeal and include more celebrities. Shape magazine in 2010 further increases the scope of fitness coverage, increases articles on diet and health as well as emphasizes on weight loss.
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Marie Claire Magazine
This is a fashion magazine that dates back to 1937, written in the English language and dominated more in the US, Australia and UK and in other languages for other nations though it was published earlier in France. The target audience of the magazine is specific to the country with that of US targeting women in the world.
The magazine from its origin has been addressing issues in the world affecting women with information on beauty, fashion and health. The magazine has maintained the objective of providing its readers with information substantial enough on the changing and new looks and the fashionable styles of the time. This analysis shall compare 1930s and 2008.
Marie Claire Magazine in 1938
The magazine was issued on a weekly basis in France and based its topics affecting the women with the target on the middle class women. The issues included the discrimination of women, how to be home keepers, and the social environment since women were expected to be conservative and feminine taking their place in the home (Gough- Yates, 157). Divorce was prohibited at the time and issues could not be openly discussed.
During this time, the images were of the fashionable hats and were captured to show only that with the concept of beauty being confined, conservative and more on the hair styles. The magazine included the trends of fashion based on women of high class such as the queen. The products advertised were not much and included the same hats, hair beauty and beauty products especially the lipsticks while the distributing systems were minimal.
Marie Claire in 2008
The magazine is published on a monthly basis and the theme issues addressed target the ordinary woman. The magazine provides up to date information on fashion with changes in fashion trends.
Unlike in the 1930s, the fashion trends represented change within short time with the introduction of fashion themes in the earlier years. The issues discussed in the magazine are more liberal and range from health, family matters, marriage, celebrity styles, fitness, health, beauty and other concerns such as legal matters, financial issues, relationships and careers among others (Gauntlett 314).
The images are of high quality and represent the modern woman permeating to all ages capturing all fashion trends in sports wear, make up, clothes for different occasions including fashion during pregnancy, work, party among others, celebrity styles, hair styles and fashion expert advice services. Other than fashion, the magazine is inclined to women beauty, fitness and health.
The magazines carries forth massive advertisements touching on the issues discussed such clothes, beauty products, hair products, services, health matters, fitness and fitness products, family related products, tours and travel advertisements, fashion stores among others. The stories represent issues faced by women with emphasis on confidence and justice and more inclination to providing celebrity styles (Gough-Yates 134).
New Idea Magazine
This is a weekly published magazine in Australia targeting the women. It dates back to 1902 with coverage of issues and news around and affecting celebrities, recipes and competitions. This analysis shall focus on 1982 and 2010.
New Idea Magazine in 1982
In this period, the magazine focused on issues surrounding celebrities, fashion and beauty trend with emphasis on celebrities’ lifestyles, cooking recipes of the time, health issues, art work and competitions. The products were mainly representing the items used by celebrities of the times and of high costs and quality. The images used were mainly of people of high profile and fitted into the high quality of the times (Gauntlett 217).
New Idea Magazine in 2010
The magazine is still published weekly in Australia with the target still being women. The magazine mainly covers celebrity stories, events and lifestyles, topical issues, cooking recipes of the modern times and still includes competitions and special offers. The magazine is closely related to that at the 1980s only the application to the times differs and the wider coverage where the audience are able to provide their comments on the blog through electronic media.
The target audience for the magazines discussed has not really changed over the time. The magazines however such as Mari Claire has increased its content scope in fashion with more liberalism, the Shape magazine has maintained its focus but increased coverage with more emphasis on diet and weight loss and focus on the body shape.
The new idea magazine has not differed from its earlier publications both in content or coverage but just in use of electronic media. The relevance of the women magazines has proved to thus permeate and maintain relevance with applications to the trends in the times.
Gauntlett, David. Media, gender and Identity: An introduction. London: Routledge Publications, 2008.
Gough-Yates, Anna. Understanding Women’s Magazines. London: Routledge Publications, 2002.