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- 17 Jan 2011
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Luxury Brands and Digital Interactive Magazines - The New Partnership


Jessamie Dunton-Rose, Events Director at Prestigious Venues, discusses the rising importance of digital interactive magazines in engaging consumers of luxury brands.

The link is obvious and yet it hasn’t been fully exploited by publishers or their advertisers. Luxury brands have been appearing in glossy magazines, since the 1930’s when photographic magazines really came to the fore. Digital magazines or e-zines have attempted to replicate that existing relationship over the last decade but haven’t received much interest from the reputable brands. This is because digital magazines alone are simply the print content in a page-turner, which quite frankly doesn’t offer the reader any more than print magazines, and arguably less. This clearly affects the brand image and the brand’s ability to reach its target readers. So then, where is this new partnership coming from?

A new breed – the Digital ‘Interactive’ Magazines

The difference between Digital Magazines and Digital Interactive Magazines is that Interactive Magazines actually replicate the experience of browsing a glossy print magazine whilst offering more than the typical digital-only or print magazine. As a result, both the advertiser and consumer feel the advantages, equally. Interactive magazine content is specifically developed for digital browsing as opposed to the former approach of static PDFs loaded within a Page-turner. So Digital Interactive Magazines have laid the foundation for a future where print magazines will be remembered as the more primitive channel. But why is this particular partnership between Digital Interactive Magazines and Luxury Brands now occurring on a more frequent basis?

High-calibre readership and exclusive communities

In the luxury industry customers are more likely to come from targeted and exclusive communities that have been built up over a period of time rather than from less targeted or sporadic campaigns. Hence, some channels of digital advertising have their limitations for this sector. Taking banner advertising as an example, luxury brands have tended to steer clear of widespread use because they often can’t control exactly where their ads will appear. Social media is of course another channel many brands are keen to harness, but at what cost? ‘Pages’ and games on social media sites may not increase brand value and could even harm brand identity. Swiss watchmaker Zenith promotes a game on their Facebook page where users have to click ‘like’ before participating in the game. Although Zenith already have over 8000 ‘likes’ how many of those individuals are actually their target customers? So while ‘interactivity’ is the future, it has to be implemented in targeted channels to achieve the right ROI.

The consumer experience must be right and the strategy must remain in line with the brand values enhancing rather than altering the existing identity. To be sure, consumers expect an intelligent digital offering in 2011 from brands particularly those they see as leading or prestigious. This is why any digital representation must be of high quality, it must be innovative and it should allow for brand experience. How then do you go about creating exclusive communities of target consumers through digital? Exactly how glossy magazines built the subscription models – streaming quality content through quality channels – and this didn’t include Facebook or Twitter. This relied on readers being genuinely interested in the magazine content and committed to getting more of the same on a regular basis. Exactly the same is true of Digital Interactive Magazines – they offer readers a worthwhile exclusive experience, provide instant subscription facilities, and keep the readers in charge of what content they want to view in a page. That is ‘interactive’. This is what builds exclusive communities.

The difference

Let us take a step back and examine the differences between a typical page from a glossy print magazine and a digital interactive magazine.

Glossy Print Magazine – A typical Hotel advertisement would appear with a title, block of text, an image and finally the contact details for booking the Hotel. Let’s assume the reader is convinced they want to book the Hotel, which is unlikely in most cases, but what next? The reader has to call the Hotel? Find out more? Find out availability? Is it likely for them to pursue this?

Digital Interactive Magazine – An interactive page constantly transforms with reader interaction. This gives publishers the power to present readers with every bit of information they need to book the Hotel, but in bite-size and only when the reader demands. So it is more informative, more compelling and hence more convincing. What next? Well, once convinced, the reader can book the Hotel, instantly. This is the difference.


Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London double page spread in the Prestigious Venues Magazine


The reader can view a compelling video about the Hotel.


Readers remain in control of what content they choose to view.


The experience is intuitive as every interactive item is naturally explored.


Other parts of the magazine can be explored at all times.


Readers can also contact the Hotel efficiently with any inquiries.


Social Media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are only accessed on demand.


Finally, the reader can instantly click through to the Hotel website and complete the booking.

Luxury brands are set to embrace digital interactive magazines in 2011.

Whether through hype or education, Digital Interactive Magazines are experiencing a global boom and are increasingly being seen as a valuable investment for brands. In the recent report by Luxury Society titled ‘The Digital Agenda,’ it is stated that 87% of luxury brand executives would recommend online luxury lifestyle magazines as an effective digital strategy. Those in the luxury industry see that these magazines can maintain brand identity and exclusivity, whilst having visual impact and engaging with readers. They are more cost effective than print magazines and can reach many times more consumers.

The fact that Richard Branson himself was at the recent launch of digital interactive magazine ‘Project,’ by his own company Virgin Digital Publishing, speaks volumes. Although Virgin is not a ‘Luxury brand’ and the magazine can only be accessed on the Ipad device, this shows that companies that have traditionally invested in older forms of media such as TV and print are not only keen to be seen as visionary but they also see an inevitable shift – from Glossy Print Magazines to Digital Interactive Magazines.

This article has been published courtesy of Prestigious Venues where it first appeared here under the headline ‘Luxury Brands and Digital Interactive Magazines – The New Partnership’. All images have been taken from the Prestigious Venues Magazine, which can be accessed at


Prestigious Venues showcases a selection of the world’s finest venues, suitable for luxury private and corporate occasions. Through elite private events and original digital platforms by the company’s digital powerhouse – CMAGICS, it places venues and luxury brands in a genre of their own.