“ Free magazine handed out to commuters, aimed at men. „
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Shortlist magazine is a new wave of magazines. This magazine is given away free to commuters on a weekly basis. It is a magazine whose target audience is men, and has a sister magazine in the shape of Stylist magazine which is targeted at women.
This magazine is delivered outside of train stations in cities across the city a couple of mornings and evenings a week. However, if you like the magazine and are unable to get a copy every week you can simply subscribe for £1 a week.
It can be quite hard to describe and give a flavour of what a magazine is really like, so I'll give you a read through of this magazine, the edition dated 8th March 2012.
Front cover headline of "When the Real Mafia declared war on the Godfather", which indicates there will be an article based around the film of the Godfather.
I love the way these series of magazines do their front pages, they are uncluttered and really conform to the idea of less is more. It also assumes a level of intelligence for their readership in the fact they do not have to spell the whole of the contents out to them.
What you will notice throughout this magazine is that it is heavy in adverts, which fund the magazine. The adverts are usually of premium brands, for example the advert on page 2 is for Boss Orange, whilst you will also see adverts for luxury gadgets, cars or premium clothing brands. If you aren't used to reading a magazine with so many adverts you may feel a bit distracted by this, but it is worth it for the content inbetween these adverts.
The magazine has its own news section, and as the magazine is a weekly, it is reasonably up to date. The news pages typically feature "manly" news about sports, cars or mens fashion. There is also a regular side column called pints and pistachios which latest "must drink" bars and pubs from across the country (not your Wetherspoons type pubs!)
Then you have an interview with a notable person, for this issue it is John Cusack.
Films are a big talking point in this magazine, and it is a regular theme to see interviews with movie stars or discussion of some of the supposedly greatest films of all time.
What I think is great about this magazine, and some people may disagree, is that it throws its net out very wide. The commuting working man may have many interests, and rather than try to appease the stereotypical man, they talk about a wide range of topics of interest and this is shown by their inclusion of political stories about the British empire, or stories about famous orders.
There is also a page or two focussed on the latest in the world of technology, as well as a small section about the best apps around, with an explanation of what that app can do for you.
There is almost a jokey fun page in the "Instructons for Men" section, where it will tell you in a series of cartoons how to do something particularly manly, like building shelter in a forest or in this particular issue, how to jump over a high wall. Once again though, this is varied, as it also discusses how to survive a pandemic, make rye bread and how not to survive altitude sickness. I like the fact the writers can laugh about themselves a little bit, and it is a little bit of whimsy.
The main columnist for Shortlist is Danny Wallace, somebody who you may have seen on the telly. Although I find him incredibly annoying on the TV (sorry Danny), I LOVE his column and feel a little aggrieved if I miss the weeks issue. His writing style is fab.
Next is the style and grooming section. People are well aware of how fast the male grooming market is growing on a yearly basis and Shortlist have done the right thing in playing upto this market. They tend to feature nice aftershaves, face balms and the like.
Past this section you get the meatier, lengthy articles, usually focussed around films and entertainment or lifestyle and work. In this particular issue they have a fascinating article about the problems surrounding the filming of the film, The Godfather.
The last article in this weeks issue really impressed me. In a time when people are losing their jobs, or having to work harder to get the position they want, then they obviously want to read about careers advice. The article "How to sell 'Brand You'" gives great tips on self marketing and social media.
Without wanting to bore you further, I hope I've given you a good flavour of the magazine
I am a female and I am not necessarily the target audience for Shortlist magazine but I make it a must read for my commute. It is intelligently written and doesn't fail to laugh at theirselves. A great formula.
The only thing I'd suggest is that they made a kindle version, I'd pay to subscribe!