USA: AARP Magazine unveils new design in effort to branch out to non-retirees

AARP The Magazine, which assures its 50+ readers that they are in their glory years, is doing remarkably well despite the economic downturn. The American magazine sold $23,9 million in advertising in the second quarter of 2010, compared with $20,9 million during the same period in 2009, an increase of 14,5%, according to the MPA (Magazine Publishers of America). 

Distributed for free to AARP members, the magazine has the largest circulation of any magazine in the U.S., distributing 24,4 million copies each issue in 2009, more than three times that of Reader’s Digest, which has the third largest distribution, with 7,6 million. Also, an issue-oriented AARP publication, AARP Bulletin, had circulation of 24,2 million. 

AARP now includes within its eligibility range the majority of baby boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, making them, in a bit of symmetry, 46 to 64 years old. And the magazine, which in an earlier incarnation was called Modern Maturity and struck a more geriatric tone, now tends to feature on its cover celebrities on the younger side, including the actress Valerie Bertinelli (50) and Dr. Mehmet Oz (50). 

Formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, the organization started going solely by its acronym a decade ago, and to say it represents retired people today is largely a misnomer: about half of its 40 million members are still working (membership exceeds the magazine’s circulation because only one issue is sent to a household). 

The current issue of AARP Magazine (September/October) unveils a redesign that is decidedly contemporary, with more white space, short articles that tend not to jump to another page, and numerous referrals to the Web site (aarp.org/magazine), which also has been revamped.  The New York Times recently published a lengthy article on the magazine, which can read below. 

Advertising: A Magazine Now Tailored to the Not Necessarily Retired (nytimes.com)

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