After extensive market research to see if young men's tastes have changed, weekly lads' mag Nuts is sticking to its tried and trusted formula of girls, humour, cars and sport for its relaunch on Tuesday.
As part of the research project IPC, publisher of Nuts, looked at options including covering serious news, offering careers advice and health and fitness tips.
However, in the end IPC decided to stick with the magazine's existing editorial formula for the relaunch, with editor Dominic Smith promising to concentrate on providing readers with escapism and allowing them to "get away from their woes for an hour".
Nuts is introducing a range of new content including a column by Danni Orsi, one of the stars of the Channel 5 show Candy Bar Girls; a gadget section called Stuff I Like, with celebrities including boxer Amir Khan, and user-content focused elements such as pets win prizes.
The magazine – which will launch with Jessica-Jane Clement from BBC show The Real Hustle on the cover – will be backed by a £500,000 marketing campaign. The campaign, created by ad agency Leagas Delaney, will feature a series of "comic situations that any man can find himself in".
The campaign will use the strapline "When you REALLY need something funny".
Smith said the relaunch follows the most forensic look at the fundamental content and targeting of the magazine since it was launched in 2004.
Nuts is still the third-largest paid-for title in the embattled men's magazine sector, with a 20% fall in sales to 142,212 year on year in the six months to the end of December.
Sales of Nuts and Bauer Media-owned weekly rival Zoo, which sold an average of 68,810 copies in the second half of 2010, have been in steady decline for several years, after initially taking the men's magazine market by storm when they launched in 2004. Nuts hit a circulation high of just over 300,000 weekly sales in 2005 and 2006.
Smith said typically the content of the magazine is looked at with research groups about every 18 months to two years, but up to now the discussions have always revolved around the assumption that the "content pillars" will remain unchanged.
"There is a view that men have changed and men's mags haven't changed to follow them," added Smith. "There was potential to change the magazine massively."
The six-month survey canvassed more than 1,000 16- to 24-year-old men across the UK, in a project overseen by research company Crowd DNA. The project covered existing and potential Nuts readers.
IPC looked at changing Nuts' editorial mix, but Smith said everything pointed to a need to keep the formula roughly the same, but just to do things in a better, fresher way.
"We found that men have so much more pressure on them these days and it is more important than ever for Nuts to be their escape, to be funny and allow them to get away from their woes for an hour," he said. "We have turned up the heat on that."
He argued that predictions of the death of the lads' magazine were premature with 10m copies of Nuts and Zoo sold in the UK last year.
"The idea that these magazines are out of time is not borne out by the facts," said Smith. "We are certainly not turning into GQ, but we are going for a slightly more grown-up look and feel. We've evolved the magazine to build on its existing strengths."
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Monday, 15 August 2011
Posted by Jon Barnard at 16:16