Before I mock some fitness-related marketing, let me whine a bit. I’ve got deadlines up the wazoo this week. And last week, all of which I successfully met, but I’ll be crazy busy through Friday. And yet, here I am, posting for you, hoping to give the OCR world a bit of a chuckle, when my employer (and my freelance gig) would prefer that I be working my arse off to finish their projects. So I hope you enjoy it. And while it doesn’t necessarily come through via the internet, I mean “I hope you enjoy it” as a threat. If you don’t enjoy it, I will say unpleasant things about you, if you’re Adam Sandler. (I suppose it’s possible that I just don’t like Adam Sandler. I’m still traumatized by That’s My Boy.)
(Okay, that was cheap. I mean, it’s mocking a typo that isn’t even a typo—a bit of the sticker on the window just ripped off. On the other hand, they do have a store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, so I feel like they can withstand this withering criticism. I’ll make up for it with my well-reasoned comments on the next one, though.)
Let me turn your attention to the magazine being advertised. First off, the juxtaposition of nameplate and cover image is problematic: covering up the “for” makes it look like the magazine is called “Healthy Men,” which combined with the image of a fit, shirtless man means that the piece could easily be confused for a catalog of buff studs to purchase for holding bookshelves or perhaps as centerpieces for the buffet at a high-end dinner party.
Moving past that, the method of advertising is a bit… well, not actually off, really. This goes back to my journalism school days and analyzing magazine strategy, so you’ll have to stick with me for a while. Consider Men’s Health, which one could feasibly argue is the most important magazine launch of the 1980s, because it successfully adopted the Cosmopolitan model (which can be rudely oversimplified as a blend of “you don’t look good enough and here’s how to fix it” and “here’s how to get laid”, with a bit of a clubbish atmosphere thrown in for good measure) and showed that men would buy it too. This magazine seems to be trying to go a half-step further and adopt the Woman’s World supermarket newsstand model—promising bajillions of quick fixes for your life and kajillions of dollars of savings for the low, low price of just a dollar twenty-five. (Okay, fine, a pound twenty-five, pretentious Brits.)
Based on that, and without having actually seen the magazine, I would say that the magazine is probably as utterly crap as Woman’s World almost undoubtedly is. (I haven’t actually read an issue of that magazine either, but its unholy blend of desserts, diets, and Dr. Oz can’t be good.)
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad business model. According to Wikipedia, Woman’s World sells more than 1.2 million copies per weekly issue. So maybe this British Women’s World for Men has a bright future.