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Alpha males get a makeover

Wednesday, 20 August 2008
By Print 21 Online Article

Move over metrosexuals, there’s a new bloke in town and he’s not into expensive skin care products (although he doesn’t mind a bit of shopping). Simon Enticknap did the hard yards at the Alpha magazine re-launch.

In the wake of recent dramatic falls in circulation for local men’s magazines, News Magazines’ Alpha sports mag has undergone a makeover designed to appeal to what is described as "a new generation of Aussie blokes".

This new man, overlooked by the 90s infatuation with metrosexuals, belongs to a group dubbed Generation Active which, according to new research conducted by News Magazines, comprises the 54 percent of 18-29 year-old males in Australia who love their sport, keep up-to-date with the latest fashions and go shopping two to four times a month.

The Generation Active archetype is not to be confused with the Stifled Suburban (who rejects sport and fashion, and feels smothered by family life) nor the Healthy Wealthy who is more worried about watching his expanding waistline than watching sport and who would prefer to ‘spend more time with his family’, as they say. Generation Active does, however, share certain common interests with the Sporty Socialiser (sports mad but no fashion sense) and the Style Savant (single, no kids) who loves to shop and goes to the gym but hates sport.

Armed with these insights, Alpha magazine has been relaunched with a $1 million marketing campaign designed to capture the attention of Generation Active and feed it with hard hitting, mainstream sports stories combined with lifestyle features and ideas on how to maximise their leisure time. Women in the magazine will appear sexy but not sleazy.

The search for a new breed of readers comes just in the nick of time for Alpha with the latest circulation figures revealing a 16 percent drop over the year to 113,633 copies a month. Still, this was a relatively good performance compared to rival lads mags which fared even worse with FHM dropping a whopping 28.3 percent from 81,376 to 58,307 copies a month while Ralph magazine fell 26.5 percent to 66,233 copies a month.

Bonding time for the Alpha males: (l-r) Mark Kelly, general manager, News Magazines men’s division, and Rob Pegley, Alpha editor, with Sydney Swans Amon Buchanan and Jude Bolton.

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