Yesterday I received a copy of a fitness "magazine" in the mail. I put quotes around magazine because it's not clear if it's intended to be a magazine, but heavy on the ads, or an ad flyer with some articles. It certainly tries to appear to be a magazine. So let's give it the benefit of the doubt and say it's a muscle magazine.
It's a short one, only 82 pages, with a nominal cover price of $4.95. Not that I paid that - they sent it for free to me "or current resident." It's also not really a magazine as much as a way to garner sales for a certain chain of stores selling health and fitness supplements.
One thing you'll note if you go to the supermarket or bookstore and flip through the muscle magazines is that they have at least three things in common:
- Big, muscled man or woman on the cover, gleaming, tanned, and oiled. It's almost always a chest or biceps shot for the men, or abs for either the man or woman.
- BIG, BOLD type on the article names to catch your eye.
- They'll have more ads than the well at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey had stars.
In my short, 82-page magazine, I counted:
- 44 full page ads
- 13 half-page ads (either the bottom half is an ad, or 1/3 to 1/2 of the side of the page is a top-to-bottom ad)
That's 57 of 82 pages dedicated to ads. The inside covers and the back cover are also ads, if you want to count them too. I didn't include them in my count.
Sure it has article, too. Most of them are under two pages, even if you count a page with a 1/2 page ad as a full article page. And no less than 15 pages of those articles are dedicated to supplementation!
Try this next time you pick up one of those magazines - how many full- and half-page ads are in it? How many articles are thinly-disguised pushes for whatever wonder supplement you need to be like the man or woman in the picture?
Whatever you do, don't make it a drinking game. You won't get halfway through. Heck, make it a challenge. Do a pullup or a pushup for each ad you see. You'll get a nice little workout if you can make it all the way through!