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Magazines rank as most engaging ad platform for affluent consumers: report

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August 6, 2013

W Magazine August cover

Magazines rank as the No. 1 platform for advertisers to engage with affluent consumers of all ages, according to a new report from the Shullman Research Center.

The report titled “Generational Differences in Luxury Consumers’ Use of and Engagement with Media Platforms” also found that while magazines are useful for engaging with most affluent consumers, affluent millennials engage more with ads on smartphones and affluent baby boomers engage more with ads in newspapers. Luxury brands should keep in mind how their target audience consumes media when designing campaigns.

“If you are a luxury brand, depending upon whom you are trying to reach, you need to know what platform to use to reach your audience,” said Bob Shullman, founder/CEO of the Shullman Research Center, New York.

“The bottom line is that traditional platforms seem to be the most effective channels, except for the millennials, where clearly the smartphone is reaching them,” he said.

The Shullman Research Center conducted this survey online Feb. 26-March 6 among five samples of adult U.S. consumers – all household income levels plus four income samples of 250 surveys each as follows: $75,000-$149,999, $150,000-$249,999, $250,000-$499,999 and more than $500,000.

The Generational Differences in Luxury Consumers’ Use of and Engagement with Media Platforms report takes into consideration the March Preview Wave. Results were weighed with estimates from the March 2012 Current Population Survey as reported by the Census in 2012.

Staying traditional
The report found that advertising in traditional media is the best way to engage with consumers in the ultra-affluent Generation X and baby boomer age groups.

For ultra-affluent Gen X’ers, magazines ranked No. 1 in both reach and engagement, with 76 percent of this group seeing these ads in the last 30 days and 69 percent being interested in them.

Shopping malls and television tied for second in engagement levels for Gen X’ers.

Baby boomers had similar results, with a print ad medium ranking high with engagement factor.

For ultra-affluent baby boomers, newspaper ads ranked No. 1 in engagement, with 57 percent of these consumers being interested in newspaper ads, and magazine ads came in second with an interest level of 53 percent.

However, TV ads have a farther reach with baby boomers since 89 percent reported seeing these ads in the last 30 days.


Still from Louis Vuitton’s TV commercial “L’Invitation Au Voyage”

Finding new ways
Millennials vary drastically from older generations in their media-consuming habits.

For ultra-affluent millennials, smartphone ads ranked No. 1 in engagement, followed by ads in movie theaters and magazines.

Eighty-two percent of millennials reported being interested in mobile ads, while 81 percent were interested in ads in movie theaters and 60 percent were engaged by ads in magazines.


Neiman Marcus mobile ad

Furthermore, TV, magazines and Web sites are the three best platforms to reach ultra-affluent millennial consumers.

Sixty-three percent of this age group saw ads on TV in the last 30 days, 60 percent saw ads in magazines and 51 percent saw ads on Web sites.

However, social media ads did not fair as well with millennials.

Forty-five percent of ultra-affluent millennials reported seeing ads on Facebook or other social media in the last 30 days, while 15 percent said they had an interest in these ads.

If luxury marketers want to cater to this younger consumer group, they will have to learn what platforms are most effective and how to properly engage consumers on those platforms.

“Consumers have different preferences depending on their age group,” Mr. Shullman said.

“Many brands are dismissing traditional advertising means, but the issue is as digital and mobile media continue to ride to the top, brands have to change how they package ads,” he said.

“If you have a tiny screen on a smartphone, you have to really change how you advertise.”

Final take
Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York 

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Erin Shea is an editorial assistant on Luxury Daily. Her beats are apparel and accessories, government, home furnishings, legal and privacy, nonprofits and retail. Reach her at erin@napean.com.

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