At a glance:
- It’s surprising that the level of engagement print offers you as an advertiser isn’t valued over social media reach
- Magazines are a shop window – a place to revel in your best writing and images, and to say, “this is what we’re all about”
- They are a refined space, where brands can talk to readers at their most engaged
Lotte Jeffs worked for 15 years in mag land, most notably as Elle UK editor and ES Magazine columnist, before taking the road less travelled to adland.
Half a year into her appointment as creative director at Ogilvy UK, we ask the judge of the recent Magnetic Spotlight Awards why her new peers should take mags a bit more seriously.
Print Power (PP): Knowing what you know now, are there any synergies between the roles of magazine editor and creative director?
Lotte Jeffs (LJ): In a very basic sense both entail putting words and images together in a way that tells a compelling, aspirational and engaging story.
PP: Is there a passion for print at Ogilvy UK?
LJ: In terms of magazine media, I’ve definitely had to extol the virtues of print-led editorial brands. Because, frankly, very few people I work with are reading and enjoying print publications themselves. Sadly, I think this is just a sign of the times. But I’m surprised that the level of engagement magazines offer you as an advertiser – the fact that they’re this refined space, where you are talking to the reader at their most susceptible – isn’t valued over the reach of social media.
PP: Are magazines an effective context for advertisers?
LJ: When you create a magazine, you create a world, a community and a sense of belonging. I think media planners understand that, but it’s not necessarily what their clients are asking them for. When you’re reading a magazine, you’re going on a journey into this fantasy. Be it a women’s, men’s or fitness mag – you’re living and breathing it. There’s trust there. So, when – as a reader – you see an advert in that context, you’re bound to be more engaged.
PP: What’s the role of the magazine in the media mix?
LJ: Magazines are that shop window. And print is that place to revel in your best writing, your best images, to say: “This is what we’re all about.” You’ll have seen that in this year’s Magnetic Spotlight Awards, across print and digital. But the best magazines are always those that feel joined up. Their events, their social media, their online offerings – all are part of the same journey. Things fall apart when that print product feels separate.
PP: Is there a gap between the perceived and real effectiveness of magazine advertising?
LJ: Absolutely. The world has embraced digital to such an extent that I’m left waiting for it to come full circle – for magazines to become the next big thing again. In every creative review, in every media planning meeting, I’m banging the drum for magazines. There’s so much scope to do something interesting or innovative, and yet the appetite is overwhelmingly for social and digital. I’ve always said great work comes down to a great idea and at this year’s Magnetic Spotlight Awards there were a few ideas executed in a really intelligent fashion, and that used print media to take full advantage of the benefits magazines bring.
PP: What’s your message for advertisers who remain unconvinced by magazines?
LJ: That here is a highly engaged readership, a refined space, and an opportunity to boost brand value by association. Think of the kudos associated with Vogue or Esquire. Think of the opportunity to run a really beautiful advert in an environment that complements rather than detracts from the message you want to convey.