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What is An Advantage of Magazine Advertising?

By Garry Crystal
Updated May 16, 2024
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Magazine advertising is the ads that people see placed throughout publications. Starting up or maintaining a magazine is dependent on a few factors, but one of the most important is advertising. Ad sales can make or break a publication, and nearly all magazines depend on the revenue generated by their advertisers to stay in business.

It is very important to have magazine advertising in place before a new publication is placed on the market. At the beginning, the revenue from ads can pay for staff wages and help with the start up costs. Not only that, but the right type of advertisement placed through a magazine can also boost the magazine's sales. Advertisers are also aware that a strategically placed ad in the right magazine can improve their business many times over.

Many people note that, when they look at glossy magazines, they seem to be almost 80% advertisements. The reason for this is that many of these magazines are seen as "aspirational," and the ads within their pages reflect the message of the magazine and the audience they are trying to reach. People who read them are supposedly the elite in terms of lifestyle, they are aware of things like fashion trends, and they have a large disposable income. The advertising caters specifically to that audience, selling designer clothes, high performance cars, luxury living.

Sometimes, a product is interwoven through a feature without the reader being aware of it. It may be a feature on a day at a certain spa in which a number of products are mentioned. The magazine advertising in this feature is not only the spa, but also the products used there. These types of articles are seen as advice givers, and their potential for pushing a product is huge. They can market the product to millions of people through their recommendation in the magazine.

Billions of dollars are spent annually on magazine ads. Because of the amount of money involved, the brands that are being advertised, more often than not, have a say in what will be in the magazine. They can stipulate where they would like the ad, what type of content should be placed next to it, and even what should not be in the magazine in which they are placing the ad.

Magazine advertising is one of the most powerful marketing tools available, and an ad placed in a magazine can improve sales enormously. Editors are, however, aware of the editorial changes that can be made by corporations through advertising. Major corporations who advertise in magazines nearly always have an influence on the content in the magazine, and this editorial power has to be weighed up when deciding on the advertising and the money involved.

Magazine Advertisement Examples

There are several different approaches a marketing and design team can take when drafting an advertisement for a magazine. The following examples are some of the most commonly used advertising styles in magazines.


Classified pages are some of the most affordable options for advertising in magazines, newspapers, and other publications. There are often multiple classifieds included on a single page. Each classified ad will include a short description of products or services being offered, ending with contact information. In some cases, small pictures, logos, or other images may also be included.

Classifieds are common in smaller publications and are generally favored by individuals selling limited items or small businesses trying to attract local customers. While they can be very inexpensive compared to full-page or multi-page advertisements, one downside is the likelihood of them getting overlooked and not standing out among the many other ads that will be in close proximity.

Display Ads

Display ads are less text-heavy than other types of advertisements and rely more on big, engaging images and text. The goal with these ads is to catch readers' attention as they flip through the magazine and allow them to quickly digest the information before moving on. They use a similar strategy to other short, image-heavy ad formats, such as billboards and flyers.


Advertorials are ads that also serve as interesting content within the magazine. Usually taking up at least a page, this type of advertisement should tell a story or offer interesting information that readers are excited to engage with. Quality writing that fits with the rest of the magazine is a key element of advertorials. Good design and images can also be used to draw readers in.

Choosing a Publication for an Advertisement

If you are in charge of designing an ad for a magazine, or if you are considering marketing your business through magazines, you should keep in mind the importance of choosing the proper publication for your ad. Since ads make up such a large part of most magazines, they must flow well and align with the mission or goal of the magazine. For example, an advertisement for sporting gear may not fit well in a cooking magazine.

To properly market something in a specific genre of magazine, it helps to put a twist on a normal marketing discussion to help it fit the theme. For example, if you truly did want to advertise sporting gear in a cooking magazine, you may have to talk about how that gear could be related to food and cooking, such as showcasing gear that allows you to bring food on the go or discussing healthy recipes that go well with an active lifestyle.

How Much Does It Cost to Put an Ad in a Magazine

From a business standpoint, it is very important to be aware of how much an ad is going to cost before considering creating it. A few of the associated costs to keep in mind when making a magazine ad are the wages paid to copywriters and designers to put together the content for the ad, photographers and any other specialists who may be brought in to further help with content, and the price charged by the publication to buy space for the ad.

The amount you will need to pay a magazine publisher to place your ad can vary substantially depending on the size of the publication. Well-known, nationally recognized magazines can charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for full-page ad space. Smaller, locally-based publications should charge substantially less, and some independent publications may even offer free ad space for nonprofits or organizations that they specifically want to support.

Working With Publishers

One consideration to make when coming up with content for a magazine ad is that it will likely need to be approved by the publishers before it can be printed. Magazines rely on keeping content within the parameters that their audience expects. This means that ads need to be screened for relevance, professionalism, and appropriateness before they can be printed. It is important to follow the process laid out by the managers of the magazine to ensure that your content reaches them on time and can be printed as planned.

Building a good working relationship with a magazine publisher can help make it easier to print additional ads in future magazine issues. If the first magazine you try to work with does not like your advertising style, it is a good idea to shop around and see what other publishers think. Every magazine is different, and what works for one publication may not fit well with another.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By kylee07drg — On Feb 24, 2013

I see a lot of tiny magazine advertisements near the back of magazines. They are all grouped together on two or more pages, even though they are selling unrelated things.

I'm guessing that these are probably the cheapest spots that the magazine offers to advertisers. Since they aren't near any stories and aren't very glamorous, they probably are a last resort for advertisers who want to be seen but don't have the budget for a big ad.

By lighth0se33 — On Feb 24, 2013

I am a graphic design student, and it is my dream to one day design ads for a magazine. I've been an admirer of the glossy glamorous ads all my life, and to get the chance to create one would be an honor.

I understand that they expect exceptional quality from designers, as well as impressive creativity. I am doing my best to develop that through a variety of art and design courses.

I know that I will have to relocate if I work for a magazine, because I live way out in the country, where the only design jobs are for the local newspaper. I am willing to commit fully to this career, so if I get the chance, I'm going to take it.

By DylanB — On Feb 23, 2013

I had no idea that advertisers could tell magazines what not to put in their issues! It's amazing that they have this much power over the publication.

I understand them having a say in what ads or stories are placed right next to their ads, but giving them a say in the entire content just seems a bit excessive. I suppose that magazines are catering heavily to the advertisers in order to survive, but they are doing so at the cost of their liberty.

By shell4life — On Feb 22, 2013

@cafe41 – I figured that magazine advertising costs were high. I would really love to get some of my art featured in a magazine, but there's no way I could afford to pay the price for this.

By subway11 — On Aug 09, 2010

Suntan12-I agree with you. I still think however, that magazine advertising is best.

According to Magazine publishers of America magazine advertising effectiveness is better than most advertising media.

They stated that magazine subscriptions were up about 21%, and magazine readership from the coveted demographic of 18 to 34 years of age rose 8%.

This growth in readers makes it a top choice for advertising a business product or service.

By suntan12 — On Aug 09, 2010

Mutsy- A new business should always try to advertise in the local magazine.

Local magazine advertising is important for your community to know that your business exists. If your business is in a certain niche, trade magazine advertising might be very effective s well.

By mutsy — On Aug 09, 2010

Well I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing.

I want to say that advertising in a magazine should really depend on the market that you are looking to reach.

For example, if you want to reach preteen or the teenage girl market, you might seek to advertise in Seventeen magazine.

This magazine is targeted to girls of this age and most of the advertising done in this magazine reflects it.

By cafe41 — On Aug 09, 2010

Magazine advertising prices are linked to the circulation of the magazine. The higher the circulation of the more expensive the ads tend to be.

Magazine advertising rates for Soap Opera

Digest which has a circulation of over 500,000 readers, charges $216 for two lines of advertising in their magazine.

Fortune magazine however, has a circulation of about 830,000 readers. A 14 word advertisement in Fortune magazine will cost bout $500.

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