In this essay I will look at two British magazines. I have examined ownership and the audience (the readers), advertisements, prices and list the magazines contents briefly. Additionally this essay applies topical data from listed readings within the History of Media some further reading was required. Both magazines consist of photographs and text but sections of the magazines differ I have analysed some of these.
‘Nuts’ is a male magazine, ‘Heat’ is a female gossip magazine and both magazines are published weekly for the UK and Spain.
Firstly I will explain ‘Nuts’. ‘Nuts’ is a humorous soft porn style targeted at anything between 16-30+ readership audience. ‘Nuts’ uses soft sexual images for an affect and later within this essay I will use Hall (1997) to understand this representation.
Also within the pages there are some titillation gags to impress the male readers and amongst other articles it consistently has football jokes that penalise successful sport players within the body of the football reports that give inside links into the personal pages of My-space address’s of these footballers.
‘Nuts’ is owned by Time Warner presently and the editors and writers are predominantly male (Nuts, 2007: 88) 67 members employed as editors, advertisement sections, sales, marketing, researchers and writers. However Time Warner’s vertical integration ties the company as merely a guild or guardian with ‘Nuts’ interest.
The three companies below ‘Time Warner’s’ are ‘Graphics London’ (Graphics), ‘Polestar’ (Printing) and finally ‘Market force’ (Distribution).
‘Heat’ magazine seems to be targeted at women only, and is a celebrity gossip tabloid magazine that also targets teenagers to anything over thirty years of age. ‘Heat’ however uses fashion, celebrities and cosmetics to glamorise the pages and the stories covered. They support these suggestions of what to wear and how to smell by allocating one third of the magazine for purely advertisements. Supporting these adverts is occasionally even within their own writers’ research pages. ‘Heat’ is owned by Mercury Airfreight International (Based in New Jersey) and ‘Heat’ employ’s 70 staff.
‘Heat’ is 140 pages long. 50 pages are purely advertisements (including the writers research of price tags and name brands). It’s adverts’ consist of from front to back: Banks, perfumes or fragrances, mobile phones, hair products, alcohol, stationary, toiletries, new cinema releases, furniture, video games, DVD’s, CD’s, cordials, fabric softener, Anne Summers lingerie, contact lenses and finally graphics and animations for phones paid for by downloading via text messaging.
From this analyse of the advertisements there seems to be a suggestion through using fashion, cosmetics and celebrities or young attractive models an attempt to glamorise the covers within the pages. Supportively this was mentioned in the ‘The Printing Press as an Agent of Change’ core reading: It depicts young perfectly shaped women dressed glamorously (Rose, 2001:89), supported by (E.L Eisenstein,1979, 66-67)
1. “The printed book will destroy the building”. 2. “Crowded with images” 3. Simplicity of operation was not a factor of prime importance (see footnotes).
‘Nuts’ is 116 paged omnibus (cheap publication) that only costs £1.40 ( €2.95 ), 23 of these pages are adverts and 47 depict explicit pictures of women naked or topless (not obscene by today’s standards) 10 pages are football and sports statistics. 5 pages contain gadgets and motor vehicles and only a couple of pages for Big Brother (the television show).
15 of these pages are the TV’s weekly guide.
Of the 23 pages of adverts from back to front there is; hair gel, mobile pictures of topless women, then other mobile phone ‘synergy’ or cross marketing (Benshoff & Griffin, 2004: 46)
They include clothes, trainers, dating sites, video games (mainly for the phones), music, fashion, fantasy football, football tickets, a home office warning then a ten page spread of the new ‘Simpson’s’ cartoon movie.
Both magazines offer ideologies or encoding that entice going out, consuming products but generally attempt to make an appreciation of the opposite sex. Stuart Hall spoke about this:
This encoding could incite lustful thoughts (S. Hall, 2001). Supportively the anchoring of shared association between these two magazines differs in that Nuts humours men about men that should be out meeting women and Heat flirts with women about successful women that also conspires women to go out and impress men by getting noticed.
Ironically both magazines cover TV coverage that I find a paradox between going out and staying in. Additionally most of this magazine touches upon Big Brother contestants old and new a prime example of watching or voyeurism (Barthes, 1957: Mythologies).
However a gendered debate between the audience or readers of ‘Nuts’ is far more simple than the ladies ‘Heat’ because ‘Heat’ is far less explicit.
‘Nuts’ within the text sometimes uses arbitrary statements after all in sociological terms the relationship between the reader and business is always arbitrary.
For example within it’s title page 18 below the Main page heading Weird stuff it has highlighted in yellow (with black coloured Tahoma font) “A normality-free zone” a hyphen that seems to connect an unusual coupling of words.
But more importantly with regards to the arbitrariness of English language this is not slang neither does it have much to do with what’s normal. However the picture of the giant rubber duck and to the right of this ‘The Vegetable Orchestra’ support this unusual heading; but also give a tame incite to support affectively the slipperiness of ‘Nuts’ Humour.
The texture of both magazines gives a similar impression: The linear pages are shiny, feel pleasant to touch, smell fresh additionally the colour impact is a multi spectrum of vibrant colours.
The fonts are big enough to notice the article contents below these sub-headings. The pages turn surprisingly easily either way from back to front or front to back (the traditional Western method).
Both magazines are of a high standard; they use good materials and the web-sites are designed surprising well; the links are quick the graphics are great and there is just as much info available (if not more!).
This reinforces the profit made from advertising not just with the quickness of the links but more the magazines quality and ‘The Strands of audiences’ that is there is always easier accessibility.
In ‘Heat’ there is a picture of a pregnant woman with an oval shaped coloured back boundary. This example is interpreted by connotation for women readers that has an emphasise for re-generation.
Important for any society for its survival and continue growing. Additionally in ‘Heat’ these many female photographs reinforce an importance for female friendship or companionship.
‘Nuts’ example of connotation on page 7 a photograph supported by an article depicts a contestant in the bull stampede. His injury is gruesome with a horn trapped inside his calf leg assumes its readers live in a paddock.
Much of the writer’s research goes into details about chasing an adrenaline rush. This could also metaphorically make a link between man being a stud like a bull to the orientation (Benshoff, Griffin, 2004: 7) of readers.
This illusion again is another example of what’s perceived real (Baudrillard) within the hyperreal.
Both of these pictures show pain and struggle from carrying a baby in the stomach compared to the man scared and injured both equally impressing the male readers or ‘Heats’ female readers.
Yet both examples subtly remind a women about the man’s fertilisation or the endurance of man to show off for the woman enduring elements of pain that I’m sure would scar for life.
On page 53 is the only panoramic view in the whole magazine. It shows a cartoon image taken from the Simpson’s of a postcard photo animation of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
‘Heat’ however in Preston and Chantelle’s house on page 31-32 (former lovers through Big Brother 7) show panoramic views inside their house.
Before this page 29 a advert of Rush Hour 3 (starring Jackie Chan) showing a panoramic view of Amsterdam river to the left of the starring actors and to the left of the Eiffel Tower.
The poster is air brushed photo’s that seem to be art and its two tone colours of each geographical view is yellow and brown.
On page 35 also in Heat there is a panoramic view of a city shot with an altered image from a bridge looking up at the curved and distorted image of skyscrapers.
Both magazines are equally interested in caricatures of people rather than locations or backgrounds within these two editions. However both magazines talk about countries outside of the UK within some of the writers articles.
The website www.nuts.co.uk has more information about the policies and conditions that the magazine must follow.
‘Nuts’ penchant of liking for beautiful young women gives again an inclination of whose exactly employed within their team. They assume who must be particularly interested in spending money on male magazines.
Researching data sent to the web-site or fan-mail posted to the address given on page 88.
This interest will provide feedback for which the researchers employed will continue to adapt for this niche market.
That is young working class who take historical trends of sovereignty into consideration. So to avoid clashing with competition from other magazines such as FHM.
FHM however is not as explicit or pornographic and contains more stories and musical reviews.
This reinforces ‘Nuts’ mags audience reliability, for which they duly inject the readers with data that they will crave again.
But both magazines are throw away weekly magazines even though the quality of the mag is good unlike a newspaper for example.
There is a far more disassociated from the American ‘oligopoly’ (Benshoff & Griffin, 2004) of Time Warner’s history. This also applicable to their current status.
Still having to conform to franchises and advertisements. Legal ways of obtaining celebrity photographs from the States as well as other celebrity material.
Since the introduction of ‘Endemol’s’ Big Brother TV package; celebrities can me made out of common people, heat utilises this fact within the majority of this edition’s pages.
Baudrillard, J (1983) Simulations. New York (semiotexte) a French scholar who gave an assessment of the affect Media had on reality: Public were saturated by mediated images causing a distortion of truth called the Hyperreal. (Baudrillard, 1983)
Benshoff, H. M & Griffin, S (2004) America on film. Padstow: TJ International. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Chapman, J (2005) Comparative Media History. Cambridge. Polity Press.
Ellul,Jacques (1965) Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes. New York : Knopf
Klein, Naomi (2000) No Logo. London: Flamingo.Postman, Neil (1985) Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public discourse in the Age of Show Business. New York Viking Press
Williams, Raymond (1980) Advertising: The Magic System. In Problems in Materialism and Culture: Selected essays. London: Verso. Link with “Changes in advertising need to be connected to society, economy and organisational change” (Williams, 1980: 170)
Hart, A (1991) Understanding the Media. London: Routledge Link with “Consumption is a form of expression a privileged escape that is an old fashioned socialist idea which has grown from concern about the environment” (Hart, 1991: 180 et.al Jo Vale)
Smith. D (July 27th-Aug 2nd, 2007) Nuts. London: Polestar.
Frith. M (Aug 11-17th 2007) Heat. Graphics London. EMAP Entertainment: EMAP group PLC
Parable by; Victor Hugo: ‘Ceci teura cela’ he says (see no1.), then 2. in a dictum by Gregory the Great “Such huge built up memories, crowded with images, unnecessary with regards to the collective memory” used as an example of explaining heresy in this period (Eisenstein, 1979:154) and finally 3. Moxton’s mechanic exercises (1683) “In hand could teach himself or herself the trade from beginning to end. Simplicity of operation was not a factor of prime importance”