The benefits of magazine advertising include the ability to reach specialized audiences, audience receptivity, a long life span, and visual quality.
The ability of magazines such as Men's Health, Fast Company, and Sassy to reach specialized audiences has become a primary advantage of magazines. For example, a set of magazines published by the Hearst Corporation is called the Seven Sisters and is clearly targeted to contemporary American women. These seven include Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, Family Circle, Redbook, Women's Day, McCalls, and Good Housekeeping.
Magazines have a high level of audience receptivity. The editorial environment of a magazine lends authority and credibility to the advertising. Many magazines claim that advertising in their publication gives a product prestige. Clearly an ad in Fortune would impress business audiences, just as an ad in Spin would impress teenagers.
Magazines have the longest life span of all the media. Some magazines, such as National Geographic and Consumer Reports are used as ongoing references and might never be discarded. Other publications, such as TV Guide, are used frequently during a given period of time. In addition, magazines have very high reach potential because of a large pass-along, or secondary, audience of family, friends, customers, and colleagues.
People also tend to read magazines at a slow rate, typically over a couple of days, so they offer an opportunity to use detailed copy. The magazine format also allows more creative variety through multiple pages and other features.
The visual quality of magazines tends to be excellent because they are printed on high-quality paper that provides superior photo reproduction in both black and white and color. This production quality often reflects the superior editorial content. Well-respected writers often write feature stories.