Relaunched Loaded reflects aspirations of young men

By Alyson Fixter

The team behind Loaded claims to have launched a lads’ mag
“revolution” with a new-look Loaded intended to reconnect with young
men.

Editor Martin Daubney and publishing director Niall McKinney say
they will revitalise the men’s monthly market after seven months of
research and a £2m investment in the classic men’s title.

IPC’s
Loaded, which peaked in 1998 with sales of 450,000 copies a month, fell
to an ABC of 220,057 in February, and was overtaken by rival Maxim for
the first time.

The new-look Loaded, which hit the newsstands on
6 April, is split into colour-coded themed sections and includes 14
pages of “true life” features, a reportage piece on shooting
radioactive wolves in Chernobyl and budget supermarket fashion.

However,
Daubney has insisted the title will retain its “tits and lager” content
and has promised the staff will never turn into “a bunch of manbag-
carrying metrosexuals”.

He said: “We spent a lot of time with
readers during our research and we watched them read a magazine. They
can be savage; it’s just flick, flick, flick.

If you don’t stop them dead in their tracks, they just don’t stop at all.

“Those
8,000-word pieces, those Hunter S Thompson rants, they don’t want them
any more, but we’ve still got a good read in there.

“Our story
about hunting radioactive wolves in Chernobyl was an idea that took six
years to set up. It’s a proper story that would stand up in any Sunday
supplement, but everyone thinks Loaded is retarded, that it’s all about
tits and lager.

“Well, we still do have tits and lager because
young men like tits and lager and there’s no crime in that. We’re not
going to turn into some sort of manbag- carrying metrosexual bunch of
softies who are into interior décor.”

McKinney said Loaded was
attempting to truly reflect the aspirations of young men. “This is a
revolution, not an evolution. Over the past decade men’s monthly
magazines haven’t changed, but their readers have.

“The purpose of men’s monthlies is to connect readers to a lifestyle they aspire to – but the sector has forgotten this.

The sector as a whole has been going downhill since the late Nineties, but we’re going to change that.”

The
new Loaded separates its editorial into nine sections, in the same way
as recent Condé Nast women’s launch Easy Living – although Daubney said
the plans for Loaded had been made before the appearance of Easy Living.

He
said the team had taken a lot of inspiration from women’s magazines in
the redesign – particularly real-life weeklies such as Bella, on which
Daubney got his first job.

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