Memo Pad: A Complicated Time for Peter Kaplan... No Smoking...

What exactly led to Peter Kaplan's departure from the New York Observer?

THEY DO REMEMBER ADS: It’s only April, but magazine publishers have already begun selling for those highly coveted September issues, and Condé Nast Publications is hoping some new research on the subject will give them a leg up. Together with MRI Starch and Starcom USA, Condé Nast studied September fashion magazines by interviewing nearly 9,000 consumers, with approximately 1,600 ads tested. A few of the questions they wanted answered: How do ads perform in an issue so thick with advertising? Do nonendemic ads suffer from the abundance of endemic advertising? How do consumers feel, in general, about September fashion issues?

The survey found that 23 percent of respondents only pay attention to fashion advertisements in September issues (instead of editorial coverage) and 49 percent believe a magazine such as Vogue specially selected the ads that ran in that issue. And, 35 percent said they look for fall fragrance suggestions from that issue. Despite having twice as many ads as a regular issue, 55 percent of those surveyed recalled all endemic ads and 51 percent of nonendemic ads. Meanwhile, 57 percent recalled ads in regular issues, and 52 percent recalled nonendemic ads.

Moreover, research suggested that those who pick up a September fashion issue, such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar or Elle, are more affluent; the average household income for that issue is $76,556, versus $62,878 in other months. And the study found that upscale shoppers — those who shop at high-end department stores and designer boutiques — have the highest ad recall and are most likely to take action, compared with those who shop at mass or midlevel stores.

As expected, research showed that multipage ads perform better than single-page units, with 82 percent recalling ad spreads of six pages and 50 percent recalling one-page ads. “We have known all of this anecdotally for years, that our readers see these issues as highly anticipated events, but we wanted to see if research supported it,” said Lou Cona, senior vice president of Condé Nast Media Group. Condé Nast has exclusive rights to the data for six months.

— Amy Wicks

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