Viva venture: NZME launches Viva lifestyle magazine

In light of our magazine landscape being thinned following the closure of Bauer, NZME has taken a direct approach and is launching Viva as a stand-alone lifestyle magazine. Here, we talk to Margaret Hawker, NZME’s GM of integration about what to expect in the new Viva Volume 1.

Launching August 31, the new lifestyle publication will embody the local flair its predecessor paper stock version has curated over the past 22 years.

The magazine will be headed by editor in chief, Amanda Linnell, creative director, Dan Ahwa, and Margaret Hawker, NZME’s GM of integration.

Obviously, there is a magazine shaped hole in the hearts of readers across New Zealand, Hawker says this, paired with Viva’s audience’s receptiveness to magazines put them in a great position to offer readers the best of both worlds.

“We knew that 71 percent of Viva readers read other New Zealand magazines too – specifically, those that were unfortunately lost through Covid-19. At the same time, we could see that the space previously held by magazines at supermarket checkouts was under threat of being lost. Such a loss, as magazines play a huge part in our audiences’ lives.”

Margaret Hawker

Following the closure of Bauer, the magazine industry was slashed in half. Even more so when the Australian arm decided to cut 8 of its own titles which were popular in New Zealand, such as Harpers Bazaar and InStyle.

Hawker says Viva Volume 1 hopes to fill the need for local inspiring content.

“Viva has always delivered relevance to its readers and with the loss of so many local magazine titles, this relevance was required more than ever. VIVA Volume 1 will bring the world to its readers and reflects local stories back to local audiences. It’s thoughtful, intelligent content, wrapped beautifully in fashion, beauty, food and more.”

She says the new title will be a deeper dive than their paper stock offering as more pages means more opportunities.

“New Zealand has been through so much this year – from COVID-19 lockdown to protests to an upcoming election. It’s important to capture this moment and give it space to breathe. In this magazine we can capture and share this critical time in New Zealand’s life and look forward to what’s coming next.”

The magazine will act as an extension of the Viva we all know and love, meaning the paper stock version will still be available. Viva will remain its weekly print, and Hawker hopes to see Viva Volume 1 continue along side these weekly editions.

“We’re considering a range of future options here and developing the pathway forward that will best serve both advertisers and audiences.”

Viva will be supported by the platforms impressive digital offering, which sees a monthly audience of 100,000 strong.

Hawker acknowledges the interesting timing of launching a new mag in the current economy, yet for her, that is a brilliant thing.

“Isn’t it just so bloody great that in one of the hardest years we’ve seen in media in this country that we’ve been able to successfully launch a new title? Everyone in the business is behind it, we’ve been overwhelmed by support from the advertising community, and we can’t wait to offer it to audiences on the 31st

It’s so important to have local media channels here. It’s only through a strong vibrant local media industry that we can foster the growth of tomorrow’s editors, journalists, photographers, and so many other roles supported by this industry. “

NZME chief revenue officer Paul Hancox says this new launch is an ode to the support of commercial partners and dedicated readers.

“We’re inspired by the enthusiasm from advertisers to collaborate with us to deliver the high-quality product that they, and our audiences deserve,” says Hancox.

Viva Volume 1 will be on magazine shelves right across New Zealand from 31 August supported by a multi-platform promotional campaign involving NZME’s brands across its print, radio and digital platforms.

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