Brand magazines are going to win | MarketingTribune Content Marketing

Paper is getting more attention I hear someone shout, because many still prefer paper over digital.

You remember much better what you read on paper, others say without providing evidence, yes, that’s probably how it works for me too. It takes effort to read texts on screens. We believe that paper stimulates more senses. Paper you feel, you see, you smell, you hear. The sensory perceptions are great. Think about that with a digital edition. Paper inspires confidence, radiates authority, but the paper form, for example, is gradually disappearing. Even the tax authorities dare to only send declarations digitally. Paper converts better it is claimed. But that also seems temporary. It’s hard to see that paper is dying out. And that many magazines are doomed. It becomes empty behind the front door. Fortunately, great things are still being done on paper. For example, I am very curious about C&A’s new paper magazine in which the new autumn and winter collections are presented. That presentation is done with a virtual fashion show, in short it is a real AR magazine. It can be brought to life thanks to AI, by scanning the QR codes in the leaf with a smartphone. Each of the magazine’s twenty pages tells its own story. Readers can pick up four mannequins and get a preview of the upcoming collection.

AR in this context stands for augmented reality. Augmented Reality (AR) is an interactive experience that allows you to place digital 3D objects in reality by means of a smartphone or tablet. You look at the environment to which these objects are flawlessly added. The real world is enriched with additional information. View 3D objects lifelike, walk around them and zoom in to the smallest detail. Augmented reality and virtual reality entered the fashion world as aesthetic perks, but are now fast becoming indispensable techniques that will drastically change the future of shopping and the experience of fashion shows. And AR also took its first steps within Vogue Nederland, which is now for sale due to the decreased circulation. Vogue’s May issue, The Future Issue, features a cover with an AR filter that you can try out on Instagram. Augmented Reality is a technology that projects a virtual, digital layer over the real world. Brands such as HEMA, for example, use AR to let consumers try out their new makeup collection via Instagram, municipalities use AR to provide more information during city trips and other brands use AR to make packaging interactive. These are just some of the possibilities AR offers brands and businesses. (

FW published an extensive story about the AR in early 2020. The upcoming creative AR revolution is largely fueled by a passionate online community. A new generation of creative influencers is at the gate. A generation that has created its own unique visual culture with the use of mobile cameras, digital platforms and a multitude of editing tools. The rise of AR adds an extra dimension to that creative toolkit.

Carolien Vader, magazine doctor, was interviewed in FD last week about the question of whether there is still a future for magazines, now that ‘everyone’ can produce content with their telephone? ‘Prefer to see the magazine as a media brand. And if you have a strong brand, you can go in all directions. Linda de Mol shows the way with her Linda!, a Talpa Network publication. The print circulation may have dropped slightly in the past few years to around 200,000 copies, but the brand is flourishing online, on television, with an edition for girls and at its own festivals.’ ‘Smaller titles don’t stand a chance. On the contrary, the magazine is by definition the medium for enthusiasts of racing bikes, hiking holidays, computers or homemade clothing. The content should only matter and be able to surprise, inspire and give customers ideas. “Losing your relevance is the biggest threat.” Read the full article.

I do not rule out that the brand magazines will be the big winners. The supermarket magazines have millions of circulations and are gaining in popularity. Not least because they are made in a very professional way and because, like Linda, they are surrounded by a rich world of inspiring digital content. This also applies to the magazines of pension funds, which meet a clear need because they are handy and informative and offer exclusive content that the regular magazines would never come up with. Content collected around specific topics that are very close to you. But also content that you are not actively looking for online. And content that you would rather not want in your mailbox that is a battle for attention. Branded magazines are free, they usually come unsolicited because the sender and ‘reader’ have a business relationship and the address is known to the sender. They are irreplaceable by digital versions that are nowhere near achieving a comparable range. Brand magazines fill the gap that the general public magazines are forced to leave, for lack of sufficient income. In this way, the brand magazines and their senders take maximum advantage of the power of paper. But it must be said, only if they are authentic and original, from the hand of professionals. Certainly if they succeed in linking the online environment to it and using new techniques to add all kinds of clever things that enrich the magazine. Unfortunately, there are still too many poorly made little things without any urgency, made by hobbyists, also on behalf of major professional brands, for example in the financial sector. Brand magazines that become media brands are the future and will continue to ensure sufficient life in the letterbox.


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