Sports Illustrated’s Target Audience

 

Have you ever paid attention to the ads in your favorite magazine? What are the products one would see? Majority of the advertisements in magazines or other publications relate to their target audiences. Sports Illustrated, the profound sports magazine, follows suit. SI’s advertisements seem to have a direct audience of mostly men, with money to afford brand name products, and who like sports.

These generalizations would be hard without understanding or knowing what ads are placed in SI’s magazines. Going through SI’s issues for December 2016, and January 2017 they both contain similar ads. The two issues’ promotions include men’s grooming products for razor blades and shaving cream. One issue’s ad had a two page spread on how baby boomers chances of having Hepatitis C is one in 30. Flipping through a couple pages, there is a heart burn pill ad, then a couple of retirement companies. Some promote liquor brands and the first has a middle-aged man in his back yard with his dog sipping on America’s finest vodka. The next sells a tequila that ages in bourbon barrels. Continuing on, the next few spreads are for the latest in men’s apparel, footwear and accessories. One particular ad features two gents in the new and improved flannels that are perfect to be worn untucked.

With understanding the material being promoted to readers, there are generalization to be made.The first observation that I notice is, that SI’s advertisers know their target audience is mostly older men. I would say this due to the liquor and retirement ads. Secondly, one could acknowledge that these ads are aiming for men who have the finances to buy these products. With the brand name products, the price will increase as well.  Next, these endorsements are for men whom enjoy sports and keep up to date with professional leagues. This generalization is pretty self-explanatory with the magazine being all about sports and the world’s top athletes. These three are the observations that first came across my mind about SI’s ad selection.

By reviewing all of the ads in SI’s December and January issues, one can understand the generalizations being made.  The company knows its target audience is men, thus promotes mostly men’s items, to men whom will have the money and are willing to spend it, and lastly  are fans of sports.

By Kyle Behymer. Communications Major – IUPUC

Ad Web Audience Targeting

Defining and targeting an audience are vital steps in great communication.  In publications, the ads are an excellent representation of who the targeted audience is.  Websites of these publications also target an audience but with an added dimension, the ability to individually target the viewer (audience.)  The ads vary by the choices selected within the publication website thus, redefining the audience.

Forbes website was the chosen publication to illustrate this changing targeted audience.  On the homepage of Forbes, the ads are geared toward a well-defined target group.  The initial ads were for Wall Street Journal; government tax programs; CD bank rates; oil dividends; filmmaking courses; and senior cell phone plans.  Together, these ads are for older wealthy businessmen. These are representative of the homepage initial ads.  The target audience is towards one who is interested in financial issues of taxes, CD notes, dividends, and business news from the WSJ…a businessman of diverse monetary concerns.  Definitely, the “senior plan” refers to an older generation.  The filmmaking courses also reinforce the older target group with an advertisement for a new hobby or starting a new business.  This is an extremely focused target audience.

Having the advantage of real-time viewing, websites can narrow the target audience.  When a viewer chooses a selection, a story or an article, the site chooses ads focusing on the audience’s interests.  If the chosen article deals with businesses with negative issues then the ads may change to customer service aids for businesses, insurance ads, or company improvement ads.  Relating the ads to the different types of articles narrows the targeted audience.

Another audience-targeting dimension of websites is third party advertising, directly targeting the individual viewer.  Third party advertising is advertisers which monitor viewers’ web surfing on their computers.  Directing ads of the real-time viewer’s interests allows the publication to broaden its audience.  These viewer-interest ads frame the articles with familiar and personal target ads.  Even though these ads may not have any connection with the article or the publication, the audience is familiar with these ads.  This frame may keep them reading the articles.  This allows for various changes so the targeted audience is the viewer even if the viewers do not fit the original targeted audience.  A young want-to-be businesswoman planning to start her own business would now be a targeted audience.  This real-time changing redefines the target audience as the current viewer to keep them interested in the publication even if they may not initially seem to be the audience targeted.

Concluding, this publication’s ads were aimed at a senior population of wealthy businessmen.  In general, this is the overall targeted audience but with websites drawing in different audiences with a specific article, the website uses ads to include the new audience in real-time viewing.  This advantage allows websites to reframe the site to include the viewer.  This is the magic of website ads – framing articles with advertising content this viewer is interested in seeing.

By Kentrina Freeman, Liberal Arts Major – IUPUC

Promotional Publications

As I flip through various issues of the widely recognized publication, Sports Illustrated, certain components of the magazine stand out to me. Most prominent of course is the reasonably consistent pages that appeal to a reader. In today’s day and age, marketing and advertising is crucial to a company’s growth and development. That being said, businesses and publications alike are strategically placing ads that appeal to a reader in their magazines that will generate a response.

After I learned I would be writing this blog, I gathered all of the Sports Illustrated issues laying around my house and also made a trip to the local high school library at which I work on occasion. Between the two, I was able to accumulate a hefty stack of issues sufficient enough to satisfy a Doctor’s office for a few months. I began to dissect the magazines page by page and quickly saw my expectations were accurate: Sports Illustrated directs its ads to young adults and athletes.

After close scrutiny, a reader could generalize that the ads in Sports Illustrated are directed towards the younger generations of our society. Empirically speaking, the ads typically appeal to readers who want to be “hip, stylish and trendy” while also maintaining an athletic appearance. In terms of gender, the ads are most certainly geared towards young to middle aged men. With repeated occurrences of ads from companies like Viagra, Gatorade and Nike, I believe it is safe to say that our target market is quite apparent.

In conclusion, Sports Illustrated is able to provide an interesting publication while also providing applicable ads that a reader can relate to. That being said, it can be concluded that the ads in Sports Illustrated are directed towards, but not limited to, young to middle age males that have an interest in sports and also directed towards an athlete of any age.

By: Josh Davidson, Business Major, IUPUC

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