MEDIA: XL FOR MEN: AN EXPERT’S VIEW: Will the men’s health title motivate slackers to buy it again?

Mike Soutar, the managing editor of the relaunched health title, XL For Men, has produced a readable and varied magazine. It has a tidy and accessible feel and continues the editorial bias apparent in its first incarnation. Only XL’s previous interest in mainstream spectator sports has been excluded (Emap has Total Sport covering this area).

Mike Soutar, the managing editor of the relaunched health title, XL

For Men, has produced a readable and varied magazine. It has a tidy and

accessible feel and continues the editorial bias apparent in its first

incarnation. Only XL’s previous interest in mainstream spectator sports

has been excluded (Emap has Total Sport covering this area).



The magazine’s objective is to position itself between GQ (median age:

25) and Men’s Health (median age: 33), an area that is currently only

being serviced by certain motoring magazines.



For this strategy to succeed, the magazine must achieve a precarious

editorial balance between the more serious ’gym-going’ titles and the

’lads’ titles at the younger end of the market. Maxim - the last

magazine to aim for this sector - ended up with a median age of 24.



XL’s first issue gets pretty close to its target - the late 20s/early

30s armchair athlete. Much of the editorial is aspirational or

spectacular - witness the hill running, helicopter piloting and mountain

climbing stories. The XL handbook has around four pages devoted to

exercise tips, but this isn’t a great deal in a 130-page ’health and

fitness’ magazine.



Having said this, I found the title informative and humourous. I

particularly liked the advice piece in ’Extra Large’ which advises the

90s man how to tell his partner that she is putting on weight.



The new (and improved) XL is the health guidebook for the man who would

like to be a finely tuned athlete, but really can’t be bothered (just

yet).



Right, now that’s sorted, I’m off down the boozer. Anyone else fancy a

pint?



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