Lifestyle and fashion magazine, marie claire Australia, has reached smart, savvy, and educated women across the nation for over two decades. Editor of marie claire, Nicky Briger, said the magazine brand is unique in its storytelling and largely successful with its powerful campaigns across multiple touchpoints. Briger told Mediaweek what topics spark conversation, discussed recent readership figures, and hints about a campaign dropping in 2020.
The magazine will be 25 years old next year, and a few on the team have been with the brand since birth. “We are really lucky to have an extremely experienced team at marie claire. Our fashion director Jana Pokorny has been in the business for nearly two and a half decades, and beauty director Sally Hunwick who’s been writing beauty for over 20 years now. There’s also our deputy editor Melissa Gaudron. She’s an experienced journalist with nearly 30 years working in digital, newspapers and magazines, and also helps to drive our podcasts. We also have our head of fashion and beauty Susie Hogan, and she started on marie claire 20 years ago as the marketing manager. They truly understand the DNA of the brand; our newer people on the team are incredibly experienced as well and also have marie claire running through their veins.”
Marie claire really has been more than just a fashion magazine due to the unique mix of style and substance where they combine rigorous journalism and those hard-hitting campaigns. “Our core global mission has always been to empower women to make a difference to their lives and the lives of others – whether it’s in the pages of the magazine, on our digital assets, or during our inspiring events.”
Briger said what’s interesting is the world really has been ‘awoken’ by the collective activism spirit that has been ignited, and that marie claire spreads that message by collaborating with others – like clients and charities – to make a difference and ultimately help change the world. “We have over two decades experience of championing various causes. Our credentials are solid – they’re fermented and authentic. We have serious runs on the board with many of our past campaigns from fighting for maternity leave, pay equality, marriage equality, and climate issues. This is a great time for the marie claire brand globally.”
Briger described the marie claire reader as career-focused, opinionated, and hugely curious about the world around them. “Nearly 30% of our audience own their own business, have a side hustle, or are looking into setting up their own companies in the future. It is more about an attitude than an age and a demographic. From Gen Z and beyond, our audience care about making a difference and making the world a better place – as well as having a bit of a laugh along the way.”
The magazine’s readership figure at the moment is 310,000 and looking at marie claire’s total audience – print and digital assets – it stands at 1.35 million. “For 25 years we’ve been the number one selling fashion magazine in Australia, and according to scan data, marie claire owns 36% of retail sales in our competitive set of five titles; and if you include the Bauer titles – because of course we’re about to join Bauer – we’ll carry 82% of the market on the newsstand which is hugely powerful. Everyone’s really excited about the move to Bauer – change is as good as a holiday as they say – but also, we will be so much more powerful together and I think that’s absolutely critical in this current market.”
Briger told Mediaweek what their highest costs are when producing the content. “There’s no doubt that cover shoots are expensive and we invest more in that, same goes for fashion. As a result, we do have to be careful with other costs just so that we ensure we come within budget, which we always do, and that’s just part of running a business.”
The magazine’s advertising ratio sits between 30% – 40% for each issue. “Beauty, fashion and luxury advertisers have always supported marie claire, and that remains true today. In fact, we carry more beauty advertising than any other title in Australia.
“The beauty of marie claire is we can also attract other non-traditional advertisers because of our breadth of content. This year, for example, we’ve partnered with tech companies Salesforce and Bumble due to the fact we speak to professional women. And with the highly successful launch in September of marie claire Lifestyle, we’re working with homeware/lifestyle brands like Fisher and Pykal, Luxaflex and Harvey Norman, who’ve always supported us, just to name a few.”
Jenifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore have been featured on their covers more than any other celebrities. Marie claire did a live event with Drew – An Evening With Drew Barrymore – and also turned that live event into a podcast which launched the ‘Finding Fearless’ podcast. “What was so great about that was we did a cover, an event, and a podcast – so we managed to cover multiple touchpoints.”
Briger said their well-researched reports and campaigns probably get the strongest response, especially on social media. “If we put up a photo of Greta Thunberg or Jane Fonda on social media regarding their activism, they would both do huge numbers for us; more than any other brand in that lifestyle sphere.
“Our recent November issue was dedicated to our ‘Save Our Seas’ campaign; it surrounded sustainability and it was a true 360 degree campaign with social, video, PR and of course the print product as well. We have an especially exciting campaign coming up in February too; it’s an Australian-first, so watch this space. Next year will also be our big 25-year anniversary – with October being our mega birthday celebration issue. It will be a big year for us with new owners, the important birthday, more events planned than ever before and lots of important campaigns in the works. ”