From top: a selection of shots from Danelle Bohane, the winner of the best photographer, consumer, for Together Journal; Aaron McLean, who was highly commended in the best photographer, consumer, for Dish; Marissa Findlay, a finalist in best photographer, consumer, for NZ Weddings; and Meek Zuiderwyk, a finalist in best photographer, current affairs and business, for Metro.
A price to pay
In business, everything can be reduced to a bottom line. And since crafting beautiful things tends to be time-consuming—and, so, expensive—marketers need to justify the expense that goes into each campaign or project.
MBM managing partner Matt Bale says reach is not the major strength of magazines and it is very rarely the lead channel, “perhaps with the exception of the luxury brand sector.” But it is a very influential channel.
“Because magazines are still fundamentally a tactile experience we often try to play to/with these senses/emotions, so for Whittaker’s where we want to demonstrate quality, we used multipage gate fold placements to bring this to life in a physical tactile experience for the reader, hopefully building a sense of quality as an outcome.”
He says media decision-making is a combination of audience, cost efficiency and environment considerations, and typically, the environment aspect is something that is not often given enough attention.
“What is that publication’s influence with its readers, what does its positioning (e.g. aspirational, inspiration etc) say in terms of the company we keep?”
Those positive reader responses are the end result of skill and craft. And, for brands, basking in the glow of that positivity has value. But, increasingly, Bale says a publication’s attitude and openness towards solutions beyond just straight ad placement is playing a key role and he says the real value of working with magazine publishers lies in the ability of the staff to engage readers on behalf of clients.
“In a brand sense, we try to find a fit that enhances a reader’s experience in that particular context, so it’s about not disrupting the reader’s flow, but actually aligning to it,” says Bale. “Editors and publisher teams have a great intuition with what works for their readers, it’s what they do issue after issue, so it makes an amazing amount of sense to leverage this knowledge for our clients. They often have an issue vision they are trying to collate, so having these optics really helps with reader engagement.”