MEDIA: SPIRIT OF SUPERDRUG: AN EXPERT’S VIEW - Spirit of Superdrug’s mix of health and beauty needs a makeover

Well, I may as well lay my cards on the table early on - I really don’t like this magazine. After having had a damn good look at it in the hope of finding at least one morsel to be positive about, I can honestly say I feel quite depressed about the prospect of writing 400 words about it.

Well, I may as well lay my cards on the table early on - I really

don’t like this magazine. After having had a damn good look at it in the

hope of finding at least one morsel to be positive about, I can honestly

say I feel quite depressed about the prospect of writing 400 words about

it.



OK, here goes. At 25 I am admittedly reaching the top end of Spirit of

Superdrug’s core target market (20- to 28-year-olds) but to me the

magazine has all the hallmarks of something that I might, and by no

means definitely, have found juicy at the age of 13.



Fair enough, it costs nothing but that doesn’t mean you can get away

with running a brain-numbing feature entitled ’28 inspiring ideas’ that

offers suggestions such as ’start your day with a song on your lips’,

’give your teeth a makeover’ and ’change your perfume’. Oh, do I have to

do this?



Sorry, but even the editor’s intro made me cringe. Spirit, she says, is

a magazine ’that knows it’s not the end of the world if your mascara

runs and understands there are days when you need to know how to zap a

spot’. Nuff said.



The editorial content focuses on health, beauty and fashion and the

magazine is page-heavy with plugs for the shop. I wouldn’t mind betting

that lots of people will pick up Spirit - we all love a freebie - but

how many will actually be impressed, inspired or feel drawn to the shop

as a result of what they find inside?



The advertising/editorial split is 50/50 so advertorials feature

heavily. These aren’t any better or worse than other magazine’s but I

thought they could have picked more interesting products to feature than

Schwarzkopf live hair colour or Palmolive body wash.



Other advertisers included Nivea, Sure, Gillette (which was about as

much as Spirit has to offer its male readers) and Pantene.



However, Spirit’s fashion pages are slightly better. A lot of what was

featured I liked and, happily, it isn’t all Mark One and New Look. It’s

interesting that the magazine has managed to be good at something that

has little to do with what the store sells.



Campaign’s Jade Garrett needs more than a bar of soap and some

cotton-wool to get her excited



Publisher River Publishing

Editor Emma Marlin

Frequency Bi-monthly

Full-page colour ad pounds 15,000

Print run One million

Cover price Free

Advertisers include Nivea, Pantene, Multibionta, Durex, Johnson’s



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