When Media24 announced earlier this week that it was launching the internationally successful Italian magazine, Grazia, into the South African market, the news raised some eyebrows. Surely, with magazines closing down – such as another international/Media24 title, Psychology Today – what are ‘they’ thinking?
Well, ‘they’ are thinking that publisher Mondadori’s Grazia has a gap to fill in the local market. And that their research says the time is right here, right now.
Liezl de Swardt, general manager of the Women’s’ Interest Division, says “extensive” research was conducted that was based on the Mondadori research formula. “The results was overwhelmingly positive and clearly indicated that there is indeed a gap in the South African market for a magazine like Grazia and also that now is the right time to enter.”
“While it is true that there are magazines closing, we also have a number of brands showing impressive growth. These include both new brands aimed at untapped markets such as Kuier and well-established ones like Tuis/Home. The common denominator being well differentiated editorial and a clearly defined and growing target audience,” says De Swardt.
Grazia, she says, will offer readers and advertisers “an addictive combination of high frequency and high quality. Grazia is also differentiated by its specific take on fashion and the innovative editorial formula – news with shoes and speed with style.
But isn’t that formula going to cannabilise readers and advertisers from another Media24 title, Heat magazine? De Swardt thinks not. “Grazia will be positioned as South Africa’s first news and fashion weekly magazine and while the positioning may sound similar – there are a number of fundamental differences between the editorial offering and target markets of these two magazines. Grazia being a fashion brand being the most obvious,” she says.
So who is the Grazia reader? She’s probably a bit older than the average Heat reader, ranging between 25 and 45 years old. She is educated, affluent, independent and a high spender. “She reads the monthlies, but she wants more. She wants a clever mix of high end and high street and mixes it all up. Shopping truly is her therapy. She wants a magazine that offers style with speed, news with shoes – every week. It is all about attitude,” says De Swardt.
Grazia South Africa will be publisher Mondadori’s 20th international edition, and the first one in Africa. ‘’We are truly proud and excited to be working with a world-class media group full of extremely talented people such as Media24,” says Zeno Pellizzari, head of International Activities at Mondadori, in a press release. “We are sure it will have a profound impact on the South African competitive landscape, similar to what happened in markets such as France, UK, Germany, China, Russia and the Netherlands.”
De Swardt says the South African edition “will follow the same winning formula as the other Grazia licensed editions, combining the strength of the leading global fashion and news brand with local flavour and at least 60% original South African content”.
Right now, though, the search is on for the right editor. “This is a very important appointment and will take some time to finalise. The rest of the appointments will follow thereafter,” says De Swardt.
At this point, De Swardt can’t confirm when the first edition will be published.
Check out the UK’s Grazia ‘daily’ site: http://www.graziadaily.co.uk/