Media and Advertising

"Trading Up" to luxury

High fashion on Trading Up.

This is the inaugural issue of the new supplement to Lifestyle magazine (精品购物指南, "Select buyers' guide"). Included with the 31 October issue, Trading Up (品位) is a magazine for the "new luxury" set. From the mission statement at the front of the issue (the "Advocate" column):

Our solemn declaration: We disdain those who live lives of mere material extravagance.

But we esteem those high-quality, deeply meaningful luxuries that follow society's economic development and technological progress. They excite a desire in people to pursue lives of beauty, and to use this desire to create wealth. This is the "new sumptuousness" - concern for social responsibility,attention to quality of life, a bright and healthy consumer outlook, and a physical-based mental enjoyment with which to share the material satisfaction and spiritual wealth that come from luxury goods....

We offer this to all those pursuing a life of high quality.

Inside the magazine are product reviews for brands like Bvlgari and Poison, a fashion spread featuring designs by Gucci, Versaci, Tiffany, Armani, and Dior (and, as you can see in the image above, the peculiar Mickey Mouse hairstyle so popular these days), a history of luxury automobiles through the ages, exotic travel destinations, and interviews with people living the life of luxury.

Ad represents 10% of Porche's annual sales in China.

Advertising, too, aims high. Porche, Audi, and other automakers share space with home furnishings, 88-in flat panel TVs, and the type of CBD furnished apartment that offers 2% discount to Fortune-500 employees. Turns out that the Bvlgari and Poison features were paid spots; according to the magazine's rate card. Mixed in with the glitz are ads for English training, EMBA programs, and pizza buffets, aimed at the same readership but not quite conveying that sense of "Accented Grace, Understated Luxury."

"Trading Up" comes as part of a rising tide of luxury-related publications. Even Shanghai paper National Business Daily has gotten into the act with its recent launch of a "luxury channel" - basically a buyers' guide.

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