Self China magazine launch

Make yourself happy by buying a lot of clothes and accessories
Published by Condé Nast, Self is an American women's magazine focusing on health, happiness and lifestyle. Their slogan is "Beautiful body, mind and soul".

In partnership with the China Women's Magazine Press, Condé Nast has just launched a Chinese edition of Self, their second magazine in China following the launch of Vogue in 2005. Vogue took several years to launch, but judging by the amount of advertising in every issue, it has been a runaway success.

Can Self also succeed in China's saturated market for glossy women's magazines? Perhaps, but the magazine's positioning seems a little confused.

The large coverline on the Chinese Self seems consistent with the American edition's themes — "Happiness depends on yourself" and refers to a survey about happiness done in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland Chinese cities.

The advertisements for the magazine currently appearing on bus shelters all over Beijing also have the same themes: they show various women smiling, with motivational sounding slogans.

The same photos and slogans are found on a set of cards that came with the magazine as a 'free gift' wrapped in a plastic case. Three of the cards are reproduced to the left. Most interesting perhaps is the plump girl, whose slogan reads: "A little fat is OK, Yang Guifei [a famous beauty of China] was like that and she made the Tang Dynasty Emperor sick with love".

But the content of the magazine does not really fit in with the way it's being advertised.

Aside from liberal lashings of words meaning "happy", Self China is basically just a bog standard trashy women's magazine about fashion, accessories and beauty.

Self is also competitively priced at 15 yuan compared the 20 plus yuan that most women's glossies cost. This might put off the luxury brand advertisers, but would let Condé Nast have a property in both low and high ends.

And despite the confused positioning, China's fondness for trashy media, Condé Nast's clout, and the fact that media buyers who represent fashion and cosmetics brands in China are clueless about print media, might all make Self into another money spinner.

* To compare the U.S. and China editions, visit their websites: Self China, Self U.S.A.

There are currently 1 Comments for Self China magazine launch.

Comments on Self China magazine launch

SELF is a magazine aimed for middle aged women.

well, in the US it was.

Check out my blog about having fun in shanghai as a girl.

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives