Twice in the past month I’ve been asked to give my opinion on the best magazine. The first time, a reader asked me which magazine they should subscribe to between Allure, Teen Vogue, Vogue and Glamour. The second instance happened during an interview for a mid-priced fashion company. “So which is the best magazine?” I was asked.
In the first instance, the reader seemed dead-set against advertorials and was leaning towards Glamour. I’d lean towards Glamour too. Where Allure is dedicated to beauty, Teen Vogue serves the adolescent and tween readership and Vogue prides itself on its irreproachable taste and sophistication, Glamour is the meeting point of all these interests. It is youthful and approachable in tone and provides a range of prices in its editorials making it accessible to a large range of readers. The quality of its articles is uneven–I’ve been beyond insulted by the content on more than one occasion. But the effort to have meaningful conversations and the columns by various celebrities such as Zosia Mamet and Rashida Jones make for interesting subject matter.
If I had to subscribe to only one issue? It would be Vogue. Where other magazines are embroiled in the minutiae of producing great content for their readers (It’s really appreciated, mind you!) Vogue is so secure in the fact that it’s at the top and employs the best people that Anna Wintour has devoted her energy to such things as the Met Gala, (the now defunct) Fashion’s Night Out as well as various Aids charities including the recent Born Free initiative.If there’s an analogy to be made it’s that while most magazines are vying for the best screenplay, best cinematography and best special effects Academy Awards, Vogue is going for best picture and best director.
As for the interview? I answered that W and Paris Vogue consistently had the better editorials and that I think Glamour has lately had the better overall content. But lately I’ve been thinking about the question. If the HR maven is talking about advertising and is asking in which magazine the company should advertise in, I would have to say: All Of Them, taking as an example Tory Burch’s interview PR campaign for the launch of her Tory Burch vetiver scented first frangrance. Burch was in every single publication over the course of a 3 month period, granting interviews, as the subject of profiles, sharing her favorite things, her inspirations, etc. It made for extremely repetitive reading but every woman who bought just 1 magazine over that three month period knew about her new perfume.
I’m actually quite impressed by the advertising possibilities offered by various magazines. Bazaar offers shop-able issues, GQ offers great advertorials, Porter’s digital edition offers links to the brand’s own e-commerce, and every magazine offers the fact that they have the eye and trust of their readership, to say nothing of the measurable impact of online advertising on the magazine’s website. To chose one would be difficult. I’d go against the grain and do the GQ advertorial for the opportunity to create content while selling product or try to collaborate with Glamour as every month they feature a quickly sold-out collaboration. I’ve chosen Glamour again and again, which is actually quite surprising since it isn’t my personal favorite but it seems to intersect with so many things that readers want and advertisers are looking for.