10 March saw the re launch of Sunday Times Style Magazine, with the title being restored to its original roots; fashion and beauty. Non fashion and beauty editorial, including food, has now been moved to the Sunday Times Magazine, allowing Style to focus on its namesake. Strangely, Interiors has been retained.
Whilst the range of editorial content in the publication has decreased, the number of pages has increased, offering more beauty editorial and in turn advertising opportunities.
Style’s facelift will be supported by a year long brand campaign, designed to make this publication key within the fashion and beauty sector and set it aside from competitors.
Readers will have the opportunity to attend high profile branded events, such a Style Conversations, which has previously featured some of the world’s most famous and influential fashion designers including Valentino, Donatella Versace and John Galliano.
Repositioning this brand removes Style from the category in which it is currently bestowed, a Sunday Newspaper Supplement, in an attempt for it to be considered a prestigious and influential fashion and beauty publication. The publishers hope that this new focus will encourage advertisers to advertise in a relevant environment, whilst targeting the title’s high-end demographic. Hence Chanel taking the outside back cover in this weekend’s edition.
Head of Strategy, Times & Sunday Times at News International said: “This is one of the most important re launches for Style in its 10-year history as a standalone section. In recent years the magazine has become home to a range of content which, while much loved by readers, isn’t central to its mission. By refocusing the magazine on fashion and beauty we can ensure that we’re giving our core readers what they want whilst also offering advertisers a clearer opportunity.”
Whilst Style’s re launch will be music to many Sunday Times fashion lovers’ ears, the question on our mind is – where is this publication now going to sit within the fashion and beauty advertising market? With firmly established competitors, is an increased fashion and beauty focus going to be enough to draw in additional advertisers? We have our doubts as to the volume of additional advertising.
Mail On Sunday’s YOU, an established fashion and beauty magazine supplement, boasts a readership that is 48% higher than Style. Their readership profile is also broader and younger than Style – and unless a brand is truly ‘top end’ the’ norm’ demographic of ABC1 18-45 for fashion and beauty advertisers will apply.
Being weekly, Style’s readership longevity is reduced compared to the established high circulation monthlies such as Glamour and Cosmopolitan and therefore not a threat to them.
They will undoubtedly be keen to continue to take and maybe increase their share of the GWP (gift with purchase) promotional advertising enjoyed by the weekly supplements and the paid for titles such as Grazia and Hello.
With the plethora of quality paid for fashion and beauty titles a ‘free’ supplement is less likely to command the gravitas of Vogue or Marie Claire. But should the editorial team be able to deliver exceptional ‘exclusives’ they may gain a higher profile in this crowded and competitive marketplace. Perhaps taking over from where ES Magazine sat in the days of its premiership in this market and command some additional lucrative fashion advertising. The quality of advertisers in this weekend’s issue was quite high though 3 ‘House’ ads were evident.
With print advertising revenues so hard to attract we see their logic of being more focussed in their delivery but doubt that they will immediately draw in large amounts of ‘new’ advertising.