The Magnetic Agency ran 'The Lab' for
the second time this year, which consisted of 2 days of heaven for
planners who love magazines!
Part 1 was a jammed packed day which included Dr
Nick Southgate discussing 'Why not all Media Spaces are Created
Equal' (you can read a similar talk of his here, which touches on
similar points -
There were also panels such as 'Meet the Scientist' which saw
members of research and insight teams discuss and debunk common
conceptions about magazines and 'Meet the Editors' where the
Editors from Elle, Esquire and Heat discussed the importance of
relationships with magazines and understanding what readers are
The afternoon session had Marcus Rich, CEO of Time Inc, discussing
Magazine Innovations with the key point being that 2017 is about
content and how that will lead into 2018 having a focus on
The rest of the day was a planning task which got us all thinking
about how we could use magazine brands and all their platforms when
planning a campaign.
As Part 2 of 'The
Lab', I was lucky enough to spend the day at one of my favourite
magazines - Olive.
It was fantastic to see all aspects of how they create their
magazine and the hard work that goes in to each issue. We started
off in their test kitchen with Laura Rowe the Editor, Food Director
Janine and Cookery Writer Adam. They talked through their process
of creating recipes, how inspiration can come from anywhere and how
they try each recipe 3 times to ensure it is do-able. What I like
about Olive are the recipes being achievable and that the pictures
look fantastic but also not overly complicated and resembles the
recipe itself - something that is important to them when they are
creating each feature. We then got stuck in creating our own hot
dogs - to replicate that month's cover. It was here that I realised
- i'm never going to make it as a food stylist!
Laura started as editor about a year
and a half ago and her passion for the title totally shines
through. She talked about the key pillars of the magazine - Cook,
Eat and Explore and how they develop each section to include
exactly what their readers want. The focus on using reader insight
research, ensuring content is inspiration but achievable for
readers and ensuring everything falls within the Olive ethos was
definitely key to everyone we spoke to at the title. They don't
jump of trends that are simply click bate - so things like cloud
eggs, which actually don't taste as nice as they look and appeared
over social media for about a week before vanishing, don't get into
their content if they do not meet the criteria.
Olive have developed their brand
platforms beyond their print magazine, with a strong social media
presence, continuously growing traffic to their website and even a
weekly podcast adding another dimension to their brand.
Next we spent time with a member of
their production department, Eleanor. She spoke about how the
magazine is actually physically printed. It was really interesting
to hear how the print process works, how costs can vary with paper
weights and specific spot colours as well as the different printers
they use across the UK.
We then had a presentation with Nina
from Immediate's Insight team who explained their panel who they
contact with different questionnaires to enhance their research. It
consists of 12k people who are usually subscribers and foodies tend
to be the best respondents. They use a lot of open ended questions
as their panel tend to like to write in their own words, meaning
they get some nice quotations to pull out and reuse. The panel is
available to speculative briefs but also for research post campaign
The day finished up with Rob who is
the Partnership manager in the Imagine team. We did some fun ice
breakers and a brainstorming session which got us thinking
creatively about approaching a brief and how every big idea can be
scaled down to a realistic approach.
It was fantastic to see how the
magazine works and is developed from so many different areas to
create the finished product and how our clients could work
creatively with Immediate's titles to create campaigns.