Assignment on Elle Magazine
(ELLE March 2012). Analyze both the advertisements and the content (the articles, columns, editorials, and so on ) of the magazine to see if you can discern a connection between what is being said an what is being sold. To support your analysis of the magazine with the ideas , you should quote relevant sections from reading articles ( "Men's Men and Women's Women", "Masters of Desire","What We Are to Advertise", "Sex,Lies, and Advertising".) and from your magazine.
As you work on this project, look at every aspect of the magazine: What is on the cover, what ads appear first and last, what are the feature articles about, what are the principle kinds of advertising, what are the side-bars talking about, and so on? You must develop a detailed profile o the audience you think the magazine is directed to (Actualizers? Believers? Strivers?). Ask yourself what cultural values or worldview the magazine and its readers share? What kind of the magazines main articles with the needs and desires of the readers and the demands of the advertisers.
The ELLE magazine from March 2012 is a glossy publication full of ideas and a style which is geared towards the jet set and those which are very much in tune with fashion. The magazine is very much comparable to other icons in the genre such as Vogue. Obviously a large chunk of the magazine are its advertisements which are focused on the younger generation (20-25) and which attempt to create considerable awareness in this sector to attract that type of audience. This paper attempts to analyse the effect of the adverts and articles on the target markets it attempts to attract.
The front cover is a picture of the model Blake Lively who appears in a rather sensual pose and all this points to the type of audience which the magazine attempts to attract which is the young affluent woman or man who is plugged into the latest technology and wants to feel ‘cool’.
The advertisements which appear on the inside front cover demonstrate a type of perfume which is all the rage and which is Bulgari. The type of ad shows a certain affluence as well as a kind of beauty which makes it all the more attractive for the type of audience which the magazine is attempting to attract. Advertising is also very powerful in every area and this may focus on particular segments of the population with Elle zeroing in on the younger sectors of the population. Whether this tactic is successful or not is quite debatable but the power of the ad is certainly there for all to see.
However the content of the articles is more generic and not really geared to a specific audience type. One may seem to note that these are strivers and believers in equal measure as those who strive to become something will want to take in what is new in style and trends obviously to copy and compare so that their look will be noticed. Elle magazine is very good in this sense as it demonstrates a certain power to attract different types of audiences in equal measure so that the advertising will have a more successful span.
The magazine also uses the side bars to excellent effect with some advertisers of makeup and perfume subtly including their message to attract a varied type of clientele. This always assists the advertisers in programming their message forward and showing what may be done with some subtle messaging.
The main articles are also quite good and focus on certain aspects of society which tend to change one’s aspect and perspective of things. ‘Men’s Men and Women’s Women’ are particularly intriguing as it shows how men actually perceive women and vice versa. There is a lot of sexually explicit content and innuendos especially when men are focused upon the beauty of women. Style is an important showing here and it seems like men want a lot of that in their department although women aren’t exactly lacking in that either.
‘Sex, Lies and Advertising is another intriguing article which focuses on certain aspects of life which we tend to take for granted sometimes and these may include the fact that what advertisers are promoting is something which is intrinsically good for us. The focus in the Elle magazine article is principally on what may be done to make things better and this can also include the fact that sex can be portrayed as being a basic need but there is also a focus on how this can affect people who are not usually very active sexually. Here the article seems to want to attract this style of people who are obviously not viewed as being particularly glamorous either.
‘Masters of Desire’ is another subtly charged article which is rather full of sexual innuendos in this respect and focuses quite intrinsically on how man can be lustful but at the same time sentimental. The writer tends to attempt to focus on men who are lustfully charged and full of desire for women but at the same time these manage to control their feelings. This is truly part of the game when one encounters women who are perhaps haughty and reserved and do not wish to cause intrinsic problems for themselves as they wish to stay out of particular relationships. Desire is something which has to be controlled to work properly and for the effect to be maximized but at the end of the day it is something which cannot always be compartmentalized.
‘What We Are to Advertise’ is another intriguing article which focuses on particular aspects of life which we tend to take for granted. Advertising again is another subtle act which can take control of your life if it is not properly controlled and the Elle magazine article does attempt to create some pointers in this respect. It also focuses on the negative connotations of advertising which may appear to use women in ways which are rather licentious and revealing and which do not have the approval of a general audience. This article is perhaps one of the strongest in the magazine as it does appeal to the intellectual side of things accordingly, a market which perhaps is not always given the importance it deserves but one which Elle magazine is continually searching for.
The cultural values of the magazine as well as the advertisers are pretty much apparent here. They are hedonistically materialistic in some respects but are also heavily influenced by what people want in this respect. The lavish display of clothes and colours as well as a large amount of bling shows that the market is thirsty for such an approach and that everyone perhaps has that little materialistic urge in them. Values are obviously important as they determine how the magazine is structured in this respect but they also show that advertisers can demonstrate a certain guilelessness in the application of their message.
Elle magazine is definitely one of the top magazines in its target market and demonstrates that advertisers hold their clients in thrall with all their mixed messages. The combination of articles is intriguing and interesting and blends well with the advertising material which is up for grabs in the magazine. Although cultural values may not always be upheld and there is a certain amount of laissez faire, the experiment on the whole is quite a success.