The ideal audience is a female ages 35-45 with a high income. This woman has a disposable income and has a high class, sophisticated fashion sense. The average income of a reader household is over $250,000. She has a high level of education, over 95 percent has completed a college. The demographics is a middle age woman living in the suburbs of a large city or in the city itself, but she works in the city. It doesn’t matter if this woman is single, married or divorced or if she has any kids. She takes vacations to Europe every year in first class and maintains a lavish lifestyle. This is reinforced with the ads, actually the first 44 pages of the magazine is fashion and beauty ads from “Tiffany & Co,” “Celine,” or ageless makeup ads from “Estee Lauder.” The total circulation from most recent data in 2016 is over 761,000 readers.
Mission Statement: “A magazine doesn’t last 150 years by standing still. It endures by continually reinventing itself, always striving to delight, inform, and inspire its readers. That is the story of Harper’s BAZAAR. We are fashion. Both a visual and an unrivaled source of own able style, we turn the unexpected into the coveted. As we have since 1867.” The specific focus is fashion and not just the trends, but itself is always changing with the seasons, I think this is to keep its current audience as well as attract new readers because they are unpredictable. Its identity is fashion like it says in the mission statement. In the issue I bought, almost every other page is covered with clothing ads or is a story about New York Fashion Week. The competition for Harper’s BAZAAR is Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, and L’Officiel. I think one thing that makes it different than the competition is the range of fashion stories that they do, in my issue there is an article about snowboarding and skiing fashion which I would have never expected.
EDITORIAL FORMULA: What type of content appears in this magazine? What are the regular features? Is there a logic and order to the content? What is it?
The type of content that appears in Harper’s BAZAAR is mostly fashion, interviews with celebrities, new health and beauty trends and editorials. The regular features are spreads with high end fashion, these are huge photos with the brands and prices in the corner. The logic and order to the content is just like any other magazine, its mixed within advertisements and the articles are not spread on too many pages. The only thing that stands out are the spreads because they are several pages long.
ORGANIZATION: Harper’s BAZAAR is owned by the Hearst Corporation. The staff according is 11 people according to the top of the 2018 masthead along with 64 other employees including contributors. The Hearst Corporation also owns Car and Driver, Cosmopolitan, Country Living, Elle, Elle Décor, Esquire, Food Network Magazine, Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, O, Popular Mechanics, Redbook, Road and Truck, Seventeen, Town and Country, Veranda, Dr. Oz, and HGTV Magazine. The other media that it owns is many television news stations, ESPN, and handful of newspapers among many others.
ADVERTISING/EDITORIAL RATIO: How many total pages does the magazine have? How many of these contain advertising? From this determine the general advertising/editorial ratio (e.g., 1:3).
There is 162 pages including the front cover and back. There is a total of 75 pages of ads. The ratio is 75:87.
I think that it does match the philosophy and the audience well. One article in the magazine was about facials and how they might be doing more harm than good which is something that the audience as middle age women would want to know. This also follows the health, beauty, and fashion aspect of the magazine. It had an interview with Kendall Jenner and an editorial about the wedding of Tommy Hilfiger’s daughter.
The design of the long fashion spreads matches the audience very well, these are women who can look at high end fashion and afford it so they are going to want to know what is exactly in season. There’s a mixture of bold colors, shapes and layouts that follow the unpredictable nature of Harper’s BAZAAR. One thing that stuck out to me was an article about the “Fashion Tale of Peter Rabbit,” it was like the normal spreads, but with Peter the Rabbit and other bunnies and it was written like abstract poem format. I would have never expected this and it was fun to see, it would have been funnier if it was “tail”