How to spot a luxury magazine’s biggest flops
Janine Zilberg, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and author of The World of Luxury, said it’s not just the high prices of luxury goods that are attracting attention, but also the fact that the magazines have been publishing ads promoting products like expensive sunglasses and designer clothes.
“There is this constant drumbeat about the ‘luxury boom,’ ” Zilberg said.
“But the ‘lifestyle’ boom is a marketing tactic.
People are trying to buy things and they want to wear things.”
Zilberger said magazines are more likely to promote expensive clothing or accessories, or designer brands, than lower-priced items like clothing or shoes.
Zilbigs research found that most of the magazines that have featured in the most ad campaigns are luxury brands like H&M, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy.
“When you see that kind of advertising, people are going to buy it,” Zilbegs said.
One example of luxury magazines that advertise products like sunglasses is Zulily, which has featured in nearly 100 ads, according to its Web site.
Zulily’s ad campaign for sunglasses, for example, features a woman in a yellow dress, wearing sunglasses, who walks up to the camera and exclaims, “I love sunglasses!
They’re so cheap!”
But the ad doesn’t include the woman’s actual sunglasses.
Zuliness said it doesn’t endorse the brand because it sells a lot of sunglasses.
Another magazine, the Los Angeles Times, has featured ads promoting expensive sunglasses in its annual holiday magazine, The People’s Choice, and in a 2010 magazine ad for a fashion show, which included a photo of the singer Lady Gaga.
A spokesman for the Times, Matthew DeSantis, said the magazine is not endorsing any brands.
The People’s Best is a magazine for people in the fashion industry, he said.
He said the company did not make the decision to run ads for the magazine.
“We’ve always been very clear in our editorial and editorial content that we’re very much a lifestyle magazine,” he said, adding that he was not aware of any of the magazine’s ads promoting luxury items.
Other magazines have promoted products from brands like Louis Vuites and Givenchys.
Ziltar, for instance, features in nearly all its ads a photograph of a woman wearing a Louis Vuite.
But Ziltars advertising doesn’t explicitly say the magazine sells the sunglasses, said Stephanie Ruhlmann, a spokeswoman for the company.
While brands are promoting products in magazines, it’s a mistake to think that they are selling the product directly to consumers, said Ziltarm, the editor in chief of the New York magazine, which features fashion and lifestyle content.
People often buy products, she said.
It’s a way to express their pride in their personal style, which is why magazines like Ziltaria are an excellent way to show people that fashion is not just about what you wear.
And while Ziltarias advertising has included the sunglasses ad, it is not in the magazine, said Ruhlsmann.
In a statement, Ziltarels marketing department said that while the ads for Louis Vuits sunglasses and Givenchuks dress are featured in its magazines, the brand does not sell any of its products.
When you hear about fashion magazines, what they’re saying is that fashion should be affordable.
They’re saying, ‘It’s not about what we think is fashionable or what you think is trendy, but what you can afford.’
“It’s about what people can afford,” said Rühlmann.
“That’s what the magazine has been doing for years.
It makes sense to us.”
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