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Magazine analysis


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Magazine analysis

  1. 1. Analysing magazines and their audiences
  2. 2. Heat
  3. 3. ‘flirting’ has been used as a trigger word in order to grab the audience’s attention. The word ‘flirting’ is a word which this audience will connect with due to their interest in sex, gossip and women’s culture. ‘Heat’, similarly is a word which insinuates action, excitement and drama. For the same reason that the word ‘flirting’ is an effective choice of vocabulary, so is ‘heat’. To add the masthead’s effectiveness, red colours give it a bold look that stands out in contrast with the white and pink background. Pink is a colour which caters for their 86% female audience (backed up by their media pack’s statistics. By making sure aesthetically the cover of the magazine appeals to the female audience, they are able to entice consumers into buying the product. Another example of heat magazine using a man as a sex symbol in order to attract the largely female audience, and essentially objectifying a man in the same way that many other media outlets are critiqued for objectifying women. The magazine’s title had been made bold and red, making it stand out on the page. It is positioned near the top leftof the page (as is typical in magazines), and this is because the reader’s eye naturally goes from the top left, meaning that the title is the first thing to be seen by the audience. They’ve also left the title with not much covering it, as to make it easier for the audience to know what it is they are picking up. Kim Kardashian has been used as the central and focal image of the magazine cover. This was probably done in order to represent femininity, and appeal to the largely female audience of the magazine. There are high levels of contrast between the text and surrounding areas, making pull quotes and text stand out and look more bold on the page. Another example of where highly feminine themes have been used in order to make the magazine appealing to this audience. Themes of marriage and pregnancy are often ones which are exclusively enjoyed conversationally amongst women.
  4. 4. ‘Wet’ is a word with sexual connotations attached to it, which is yet another way of adding sex factor to the article, thus instantly grabbing the attention of women. To add to this, the pink colour has been used again for the same purpose, and this adds aesthetic continuity and matches well with the cover page. After reading the media pack, I discovered that less than half of Heat’s audience are married, which might be an indication as to why they choose to market their magazine in such a sexual way. The woman featured in the article is wearing not a great deal in the way of clothing, furthermore reinforcing the fact that the creator of this article is attempting to push sexual themes onto the viewer. It might seem strange at first that a woman has been used rather than a man, but women often take pleasure in finding other attractive women to use as role models for a ‘perfect body. ‘Flirty’, ‘feminine’, ‘fun’ and ‘stylish’ are all words used by heat magazine within their media pack, and the column in this double page spread called ‘this week’s bite trends’ is an indication of the magazine’s effort to cater for this stylish audience. They will want to keep up to date with the latest fads and stories in order to feel fulfilled as a consumer. By using words like ‘trends’ they instantly are able to cater for this audience. By listing data in bite sized chunks as has been done here, the magazine is able to appeal to those who perhaps have lightly less time on their hands. For example, a woman who might have a 10 minute snack break whilst at work won’t have time to read the whole article, but can quickly enjoy the ‘bite trends’. Multiple images have been used in order to illustrate the article, rather than just one. This brings the article alive in many ways, and makes it much easier for those who might be less into reading to enjoy. Many members of the audience will benefit from this, and it allows the audience to feel more connected to the story.
  5. 5. Men’s Health
  6. 6. The word ‘testosterone’ is one which is associated with masculinity due to it being regard as the male sex hormone. For this reason, the magazine instantly grabs the attention of it’s almost entirely male audience. The fact that the men who buy this magazine aspire to be more masculine means that they associate this word with success and their ideal self image. The use of the exclamation mark at the end of the sentence further helps the word to stand out on the page and make it feel more exiting for the audience. Fairly bland and masculine colour schemes have been used, with reds, greys and black all being colours which can be certainly more associated with male preferences. Furthermore, the colour red often indicates danger, which is something that this audience will feel empowerment in, adding to the masculine feel. Jamie Foxx has been used on the cover as an image, and takes up a large deal of space on the cover. The angle at which the photo has been taken shows off his muscular physique, which again will appeal to this audience as a role model. Arms are often deemed a central point in a man’s masculinity. This can be backed up by the fact that the media pack states that 16% of the magazine’s readers regularly go to the gym and play some form of team sport. Half a million of the magazine’s audience participate in team sports. Although his physique may not be a realistic goal for all men, the magazine instils false hope in it’s audience that they too could look this good. High levels of testosterone are often associated with a high sex drive, so it seems more than fitting to use trigger words like this in order to pull in this audience. Again, highly contrasting colours have been used in order to make the text stand out, and give it a bolder look. This in turn makes it much easier for the reader to quickly gain interest in the topic and want to open the magazine up in order to read into it. The sports theme is continued using terminology relevant to the topic, in this case the word ‘cardio’. While some may not fully understand what this means, it creates a sense of identity for the audience who all share the common connection of knowing this terminology, thus making them feel more at home while they read. A sexually themed play on words has been used here, and one which uses relevant terminology. This works well to appeal to this audience, who will likely be more sexually charged than your average male due to their obsession with health and fitness. Exclamation marks have been used on this pull quote in order to make it feel more exiting for it’s audience. A health obsessed audience will often look for thrills and adrenaline, and this is something which exclamation marks often connote.
  7. 7. The model hear is pictured in rowing gear with a rowing paddle in his hand. This takes me back to my point about the activeness of this magazine’s audience. By using a model in which they can associate their own hobbies and pastimes with, they can help the reader to create a sense of identity with the magazine, thus wanting them to become part of Men’s Health community and buy more issues. Again, a very fit and healthy looking model has been used, which in some ways tricks the reader into believing they too can look like this, when the reality probably is that they will never be able to have this physique without extensive amounts of work. This use of alliteration draws the audience’s eye into the article and makes it seem more light hearted and less like it takes itself too seriously. This is something that the majority of the audience will likely appreciate, as most readers will be looking to have a healthy lifestyle without having to go all out and dedicate their life to fitness. This small green box in the corner is titled ‘Breaking Down Discipline’, and discipline is of course something required both for team sports and for fitness in general. By addressing this issue which many of the readers will struggle with, they are creating a bond of trust with the reader, and giving them tips on how to succeed. Again no feminine colours have been used on this double page spread, which adds to the idea that this magazine is solely aimed at satisfying the needs of men rather than women. Although in the media pack there aren’t any specific references to choices of colours used or the justifications behind using them, it’s fairly obvious that this use of manly colours was intentional. The media pack states that the magazine has readers in 65 countries. Rowing is a sport which people do all over the world, so by choosing to cover an article on it, rather than a more niche sport, they are addressing this multinational audience. This quote taken from the article helps to give the reader a sense of hope that they too could be successful like him, and essentially suggests that you don’t actually have to be the best at what you do to be the best at something (which of course is a load of rubbish). Not only this, but it helps the audience feel connected to the athlete on a more personal level, adding to the sense of unity created within the Men’s Health magazine. Military style use of physical stats has been adopted here when describing the rower, such as age, weight and height. This works well with the audience, as they are all very physical elements, and make the audience feel a sense of competitiveness that many health enthusiasts will get a kick from.