Friday, August 16, 2019

Comparing and contrasting two lifestyle magazines Essay

The mass media has over the years evolved to what some people judge as the way we think. No longer has everyone got their own opinion but they are conjured by adverts and promotions. People are classed into different stereotypes with their opinions reflecting their own accord, thus including what they look like, what they do and who they are. With each new stereotype category arrives a new lifestyle for people to follow. People have now taken lifestyles into their own (this is known as materialism) and identified their ‘stereotype’ by indicating this to the public through the medium. Magazines are a good way to promote lifestyles because they are easily accessible through retail, any kind of lifestyle can be promoted as the amount of magazine concepts are only barred by the levels of creativity and magazines can target a certain type of audience and still sell rather than be obliged to target a mass audience such as TV. Editors play a big part in how the lifestyle is represented in any magazine. The editor’s view reflects the lifestyle, especially if it is a large selling magazine. It basically follows the theory of how media controls our opinions which relates to the trend or ‘what’s hot or not’. Advertisements within magazines also reflect the lifestyle itself because a business wouldn’t really promote their products in irrelevant locations that would not attract consumers. I have chosen â€Å"Adobe Photoshop Handbook† (APH) and â€Å"Smash Hits† as my magazines to compare and contrast. APH is a magazine for web site designers. It shows you how to make graphics using Adobe Photoshop (a popular software with web site designers). As this software costs a lot of money (i500+) and not many people choose to use extreme personalised graphics on their web sites this is not a popular lifestyle as others this magazine does not sell to a large audience. Smash Hits is a popular magazine on pop music lifestyle. It costs a third less than APH and has a much larger audience. It generally targets males and females of 9 – 16 years of age. Pop music is hard to classify because of the amount of different kinds of music such as jazz, blues, metal, rock, dance etc. but Smash Hits generalises pop music as what is in the charts and making an impact on the teenage public. This is a good way to promote a magazine because it constantly keeps up to date with celebrity lifestyles and ‘gossip’. People like keep track of what their favourite celebrities are doing because they see them as role models in how they themselves can become just like them. APH has gossip on what kinds of talent is currently hitting the art side of the computer world. Web site designers like to be individual in their work so they don’t follow the handbook ‘religiously’ but use the ideas to apply to their own graphics. This kind of editorial has a weak concept but a good reaction. The ideology is to show people how to make attractive images that relate to the current trend of web arts but the reaction is to use these guides to work alongside web designers’ own arts. The language used in APH is complex in a computer literate fashion. Throughout the magazine there are amazing eye catching images. The front cover always has the most interesting image in the handbook because this is the main advertisement for the magazine. If the image looks good then people are more likely to buy it because they will suggest that the producers of the magazine knows how to make attractive art. They try to shorthand most of the content because they repeat words over and over again in the tutorials. Smash Hits language is Basic English; this is to make it easier for the younger audience to interpret the magazine. Many of the images in the magazine are pictures of celebrities with more focusing on whoever is in the public eye. The graphics are large and colourful this is ‘easy on the eye’ and attracts attention to it because of the primary colours reflecting off the opposite colours (i. e. black and white, red and blue, yellow and blue etc. ) When you hear your favourite artist sing a song you tend to sing along with it (in public or not), APH is like a handbook of lyrics to songs and people read off these lyrics and use it to write their own songs. This is the major difference between the two magazines. One is aimed at artists and the other is aimed at the pop music market. The readerships are bound to differ. Therefore the editorials are apt to justify with their target audience. Although they are different in lifestyles they do share comparisons. The magazines both target male and females and the conventional layout consisting of; front page, contents page, editors words, letter page, main articles, interview and then a page at the end on next months contents. The costs of the magazine diverge of each other, as there is more money in the music industry than in the web design industry and many other industries. The fact that the magazine only idealises on pop music means that it will always have a large audience of people that follow popular music, which tend to be a younger audience who have yet to develop a taste in different kinds of music. More and more people are getting into web site building because it is easy and cheap. People can make their own reflections of lifestyles in their own impressions on their web pages. This then attracts other people and the ‘acceptance’ into a society is then established (because as people know, there is a website for everything). The monopolisation of the computer market by Microsoft means that the variety of software available is limited. Denoting that the amount of different advertisers available to the publisher are limited, consequently making the magazine highly priced. The advertisement in any magazine normally reflects the lifestyle that the magazine idealises. In APH the adverts are about other computer software that work in cooperation with Adobe Photoshop. These adverts are scattered throughout the magazine in a variety of sizes depending on the quality and popularity of the products. The only other adverts are of other magazines published by future publishing (the magazines publisher) that focuses on magazines that have a ‘passion with media’. These tend to be full-page adverts; about 20% of the magazine is made up of adverts. Smash Hits is made up of 50% of editorials and the rest are adverts. This makes the magazine cheap to buy. The adverts are scattered throughout the magazine and they are all of products and services that justify their readership. For example, there is a NSPCC advert at the bottom of the letters page; NSPCC is the ‘National Society of Protection against Cruelty to Children’, which is obviously targeted at children. The adverts consist of music albums of pop bands and the other magazine that the publisher publishes also feature in the magazine on full pages. Smash Hits normally comes with ‘freebies’ such as a single or extra miniature books that are sealed onto the front cover. APH came with a guide to how you can dual boot your system with Linux and Windows; it also came with a disk with Linux on. Freebies are popular with magazines because people like to think that they are getting more than what they paid for. This makes the consumer more likely to buy the magazine because of this ‘give away’ offer. Lifestyle magazines cannot represent a lifestyle completely; it just shows a reflection of an opinion on its chosen lifestyle. A person cannot instantly know about new trends instantaneously, they need to be told about them through the media or other forms of communication. This is why they buy magazines on their favourite lifestyles and to learn about what ‘their world’ is up to. Lifestyles are endorsed as guidance for people to lead and live their lives. They are popular with people because it allows them to ‘belong’ to a society. With this self – belief of acceptance it gives people a push through life. This can be related to religion; as where people follow a religion in credence of hope and these lifestyles can be seen as hope to be accepted into society.

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