The success and decline of loaded has been rather remarkable in many ways. First of all, the way it burst onto the market was certainly surprising. However, the seemingly rapid decline after years at the top has been just as, if not more, surprising. The reasons for its success are pretty obvious when you look at them, and they are undoubtedly a lot clearer than the reasons for the falling sales. One could say that the drop (in sales) has something to do with changing economic conditions.
However others, perhaps more cynically, will say that it is just the magazine failing to respond to these changing conditions, and that Loaded has paid the price with the decline of sales. One person who certainly thinks the latter is Mr. Howarth – “They are all about the denial of the real problems… in denial about anything serious… this is a way of not facing up to hard times. ” Of course this is just his view, nonetheless he could indeed have a point.
When Loaded first burst onto the scene, it was certainly a first of its kind, and when released there was no doubt it was exploring a gap in the market. Yes, there were existing magazines that were similar, such as Arena & GQ, but they were more into men’s grooming and fashion. What Loaded did was to experiment and push out the boundaries, by trying to relate to men. They did with surprising ease by combining parts of life that men are interested in – women, music, sex, jokes ; football.
It was essential that they went about doing it tastefully, as they didn’t want the magazine to become a top-shelf magazine – that would defeat the object of the whole project. It wasn’t just the content and style of the magazine that caused it to become a quick selling sensation. The fact that it was entering a niche market helped as well, as it kept it individual as the beginning (of course it did later become part of a large market with its success). Also, the strategy used when promoting ; marketing Loaded had a lot to do with its success.
There was huge risk involved for IPC, however they handled it just right and as a result nothing went wrong, and their brand name definitely wasn’t ruined. In fact, some will say it was partly due to their handling of the magazine that Loaded succeeded the way it did. For example, the pricing strategy used was a key factor in the selling of the magazine. By having the low starting price, it drew the public in and then by raising it slowly it meant people would still be happy to buy it, with the company making more & more money.
I’ve already mentioned the content ; style of the magazine, however one final important factor in its success was how it was presented to the public. The presentation itself was cheeky in its own way – this of course keeps in with the whole tone and aim of the magazine, and was right for its target audience – however it wasn’t really offensive to the majority of people – also important in this context (just releasing the magazine) – and this meant there sales opportunities were maximised. As a result of this the magazine blossomed.