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The pursuit of happiness

  • Date:

    20 January 2016

The pursuit of happiness

The pursuit of happiness takes different forms for Millennials vs Gen X but finds a natural home in magazine media, writes Magnetic Insight Exec, Lizzie Rankin.

Happiness is a topic that Magnetic explored last year with our Moments That Matter Study, driven by a sense that appreciation for solo, non-screen media time was increasing as anxiety and the need for more alternating attention grows.

Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioural science at LSE, defines happiness as ‘experiences of pleasure and purpose over time’ and says ‘To be truly happy you need to feel both pleasure and purpose…‘.

Using Dolans ‘pleasure purpose principle’ this drive for a happier you at the beginning of the year is usually a purposeful pursuit rather than one driven by pleasure, although they two can’t be entirely pulled apart.

Moments that matter

Magnetic’s Moments That Matter study found that almost 70 per cent of all magazine moments across any platform were driven by the need for ‘pleasurable reward’ or ‘purposeful information’ and the way that magazine content meets these needs does differ by target audience.

Millennials for example, tend to seek magazine content that gives them interesting things to talk about; they want to know what is going on. For them it’s about currency and sharing information that defines a positive experience much more than for Gen X and Baby Boomers.

In comparison, GenX are more likely to be looking for ideas or to feel they have learnt something new, so the reading experience itself is the end result.

Why though does happiness – whether it’s driven by pleasure or purpose – matter at all when it comes to advertising?

Happiness and memory

There is a link between happiness and memory encoding. Magazine readers report a state of flow and higher levels of happiness, and these emotional qualities are triggers to long-term memory which extends to recall of advertising.

Magazine media stretches to incorporate these differing needs in a myriad of different ways depending on the discrete and highly tailored content strategy for each brand. It is able to bring in commercial partners who recognise the relevance and timely cultural sweet spot that editors understand and their audiences want.

For example, Stylist and Etsy have really played into this with a campaign ‘Bringing your dreams to life’, which includes a pop up article and interviews with six Etsy sellers as well as homepage takeover.

This is a great partnership for Etsy and Stylist, the context that Stylist has created for the brand delivers a tailored fit for the message that is highly relevant, sparking ideas and conversations about alternative careers amongst its predominantly millennial audience.

Ideas and inspiration

In contrast, a desire for ideas and inspiration is delivered in the current issue of Red’s ‘Reboot 2016’ feature this month, which has contributions from specialists in nutrition, decluttering and mindfulness. The nutritional focus is on moderation not deprivation, and creating long-term healthy habits.

This editorial context is perfect placement for Baxters Soups’ new campaign ‘Big on Flavour’ which heroes the key ingredients in their range. In the past year Baxters has invested 47 per cent of their budget in magazine brands across Good Housekeeping, BBC Good Food, Delicious, Red and Olive, demonstrating their continued commitment to magazine media.

No matter whether happiness is on your personal or professional agenda for 2016, magazine media is a great place to find purposeful information that will inspire and elicit action.

Since positive emotions are linked to greater memory encoding, this gives your brand a much greater chance of getting noticed, and perhaps you’ll also hold onto to some of those top tips?

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