High Life sees content shift in major relaunch

High Life, the contract magazine for British Airways, has been revamped to give it a bigger emphasis on fashion, travel and lifestyle.

The changes appear in the September issue – the first under the editorship of Alex Finer, who moved across from its sister title, BA’s Business Life, earlier this year.

High Life had a soft relaunch in May when it decided to drop its celebrity covers to concentrate more on a backdrop of travel. Finer said it was always his intention to come in and oversee a “hard” relaunch in September. The latest changes include increased pagination and improved sign-posting as well as more coverage of UK events and more emphasis on fashion – now likely to dominate the cover twice a year.

A picture spread has been added to the front and a “postcard from a celebrity” slot has been introduced – kicking off with actor Nigel Havers.

The length of the features has increased along with the number of illustrations. There will be fewer features over more pages and the articles will have more of a lifestyle element incorporating fashion, sport and adventure. Finer said there will be less “destination reporting” as passengers are already going somewhere else, and more lifestyle features related to travel. “I’ve refined it so that we are engaging people’s lifestyle interests against a travel background,” he told Press Gazette. “If you just do destination Milan you get a limited uptake, but if you do something on a football team playing away in Milan, you get people who are interested in football.”

The in-flight entertainment pages have also been updated to make it simpler for readers to select the films they want to watch when they are on board and the maps at the back have been refreshed. Finer said he had identified specific groups of readers the title should target: the 28-year-old mum travelling with her family to a villa in Turkey, the 39-year-old businessman, who flies abroad frequently and the 55year-old retired couple, who did not travel as much as they wanted to but now take several holidays a year.

The title, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary, reaches over two million passengers a month. “High Life is the granddaddy of contract titles. It has been going for 30 years and continues to be a profitable title for the airline,” Finer said.

By Ruth Addicott

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