Magazines tend to target their readership by gender by tapping into gender specific stereotypes. This can be shown by the content that conventionally appears in male and female magazines. For example, men’s magazines generally contain semi-naked women, cars, sport, jokes, technology/gadgets, fashion and gruesome stories. Women’s magazines normally feature fashion, beauty, problems, celebrity news, horoscopes and real life stories.
Magazines use gender stereotypes to target their readership because men and women have different interests and by targeting readers by gender, the features of the magazine are more appealing to audiences and this makes more money for the company. The target audience for ‘Company’ magazine, according to www. natmags. co. uk, is females aged 25. The assumed lifestyle of this audience is they shop when they want, go clubbing when they want, they live for the weekend and know their fashion and popular culture. This assumed lifestyle is connected to the magazine’s strap line, ‘for your freedom years’.
The magazine is priced at i?? 1. 99, which would be affordable for the assumed target audience. The magazine looks glossy and high value and the price is in bold, suggesting it is good value for money and will engage the reader. The front cover of the April 2006 copy of ‘Company’ consists of one model, who is framed by text. The model is glamorous, fashionable, has a confident pose and looks directly at the camera, which would engage the reader. The reader would aspire to the model, as she is attractive and appears slightly younger than the assumed target audience.
Features included in the magazine are shown on the cover and include fashion and beauty, real life stories, career, men, sex and celebrity. The magazine targets their readership by gender because the model on the cover is similar to the intended audience and would attract the consumer. There is an interview with Shayne Ward in the magazine. The magazine is targeting by gender as they assume women are attracted to him, which would entice the audience into reading the interview. The interview asks questions on subjects the audience is suggested to want know about Shayne and this taps into the female stereotype.
There are various real life stories in the magazine, which engage the target audience because the reader can relate to the story as it could happen to them. Stories include ‘My bad hangovers were actually hepatitis C’ and ‘I was moments away from Thai beach killers’. These stories would be of interest to the target audience because they will want to be informed of social issues, such as drinking, sexual health, debt, politics and careers. Real life stories attract readers by gender, because the stories are written by women for women of a similar age to the target audience.
The magazine features various articles from different women about travelling. This would engage the reader because it may be an aspiration of theirs to go traveling and the article will relate to them. The article shows different experiences of travelling and unveil an aspirational lifestyle. The stories are followed by an article on how to stay safe when travelling, which would engage readers who are interested in the subject. However, the purpose of magazines may be bought by the reader for escapism and entertainment, whereas a focus on real life stories may take this purpose away.
Some magazines are not targeted by gender, which include music magazines(NME), television and film(TV Times), interest magazines(gardener’s world) and some celebrity gossip magazines(Heat). These magazines are not gender specific and appeal to both male and female audiences. The magazines do this by not including conventional content specific to gender. For example, Heat magazine mainly consists of articles about celebrities. It includes fashion, but this is appealing to both men and women because it features both sexes.
It also contains crosswords and other games, which would not appeal to one gender. These magazines to stereotype, in that they assume the audience is interested in the features, which can be assumed because it is clear what type of magazine it is from the cover. By looking at men’s magazine Zoo (17-23 March 2006), I can assume the target audience is young males aged 18-22. The target audience has an assumed lifestyle of having an interest in girls, cars and sport, all of which are featured on the magazine front cover alone. The magazine costs i??
1. 30 weekly, which is relatively cheap and would suit the younger audience who are not likely to have high disposable income. The front cover consists of mainly pictures with 10 girls shown in their underwear. The main girl is shown naked holding a football. She is pretty, slims, stands with a sexy pose and holds eye contact with the reader, which shows seductiveness and would engage a reader. This assumes the male readership are attracted to the model on the front and therefore targets the readership through this gender stereotype.
Features in the magazine include footballer’s cars, ‘sexy in the city’, and an interview with Chris Rock, which all assume the target audience have an interest in these subjects and target the readers by gender stereotypical contents. The report on footballer’s cars would engage the target audience because it gives an insight into an aspirational lifestyle. The title of the article is ‘Premiership stars and their cars’. It consists of 10 footballer’s cars being rated and facts about the car being given. This can be aspirational in two ways to the reader, as they may want to own an expensive car and/or be a premiership footballer.
The magazine targets the readership by tapping into a fantasy. The feature of sexy in the city would engage the target audience because it consists of a double page spread of girls partying and posing topless. There are photos of them with attractive female celebrities. Most men would aspire to be with an attractive girl like the ones shown, which again shows the magazine targeting readers by tapping into a fantasy. Men’s and Women’s magazines both target their readership in the same way by tapping into aspirational lifestyles.
By featuring the conventional content that appears in most gender specific magazine, it attracts the stereotypes the magazine is intended for and makes the magazines more appealing to separate audiences. Magazines that are not gender specific tend to attract both sexes, but the stereotypes seem to be of people in general who are interested in music, for example. The main reason magazines target their readership by gender, or not in some cases, is purely to make money, as profit is what the magazines set out to maximise.