As the variety of advertisement placements has multiplied in the previous years, there have emerged various magazines, newspapers, digital sources that have broad audiences and loyal customers who value the opinion of media’s journalists. Advertisers begin to study the effectiveness of various media more closely and act more prudently to target specific people and research consumer behavior. This paper will discuss two magazines from the different gender groups, GQ and Cosmopolitan, their differences, and their similarities in the advertisement strategies and products.
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The first magazine, Cosmopolitan, targets any woman between 18-49 with a median salary of $66,630 and an employment rate of 68.9% (Cosmopolitan, 2020). Women are both single and married; the majority attended any college or is getting a degree currently (Cosmopolitan, 2020). Millennials and the group aged between 18-34 are the two most prominent groups that read Cosmopolitan to date. GQ targets educated men, the two core audiences are men aged 25-34 (30%) and 35-54 (38%) with an average household income of $102,980 (MediaMax, 2020). Millennials are the primary group that GQ focuses on; they are also likely to spend money on fashion clothes and technology in luxury department stores (MediaMax, 2020).
The majority of Cosmopolitan advertisements show products for women, including cosmetics and luxurious fragrances, such as Yves Saint Laurent, skin routine products, clothes, and shoes, such as Geox and accessories. GQ ads present luxurious brands products, such as clothes, fragrances, watches, such as Breguet, car brands, such as Porsche, beer, and bar places, which lack female representation. There are not so many similarities in ads between Cosmopolitan and GQ; however, some products that are showed in both magazines are travel destinations and places, restaurants, and bars, sometimes cars, food, and tech products. Nevertheless, the main difference lies in the product segments as GQ targets more high-end audiences that can spend more on products, while Cosmopolitan is the ultimate guide for women; thus, the advertising products are diverse.
Considering that there are many ads across the two magazines, several similar ads products can be chosen to analyze, such as fragrance products, which are perceived as both feminine and male products. Printed options of May 2020 ere used for the analysis. First, Cosmopolitan fragrance ads can be analyzed; there are usually several fragrance ads in one edition of the magazine. The fragrance ads look appealing with rose, gold, red, black colors. They are selling products, using celebrities or good-looking models. The visuals either represent only the flacon of the fragrance or several people together with a scent, sometimes they show couples, man and woman, or one woman. Only the slogan and the brand of the fragrance are mentioned in the ad.
Looking at GQ fragrance ads, the number of these ads is smaller than that in Cosmopolitan. The fragrance ads look powerful with black, blue, red, gold, white colors. They are selling products, using celebrities or good-looking models sometimes. The visuals either represent only the flacon of the fragrance or one or several men, wearing fancy clothes. It is worth noting that from time to time, fragrance ads in GQ are hidden as if editors suggest using these fragrances; thus, there are more text messages in the ad.
Overall, it can be summarized that the main differences in ads in Cosmopolitan and GQ lie in the usage of models and colors: GQ uses colors that are perceived to be “male,” while Cosmopolitan ads use “feminine” colors and exploit couples to sell products. Similarities in both magazines’ ads include the usage of bottles of fragrances and models as the primary visual parts. The main difference in types of products that both magazines advertise is the price range of products because GQ may show Ferrari cars, while Cosmopolitan may present Ford cars. The similarities include some segments that magazines show, including clothes, accessories, cars, tech, and food products. Still, it can be noted that magazines pursue the strategy to target core audiences with specific target profile and behavior that occasionally lacks diversity.
Cosmopolitan. (2020). Consumer Profile.
MediaMax. (2020). Advertise Locally in GQ.