With the new issue of Women’s Health, which hits stands next week and features Danai Gurira of “The Avengers” and “Black Panther” fame on the cover, the magazine is looking to emphasize its corner on the lucrative global wellness market. The brand, which came under the Hearst umbrella at the beginning of the year when the publisher officially acquired Rodale, kicked off its redesign with a wellness-themed breakfast and presentation for advertisers in New York on Tuesday morning.
“We’re committed to the DNA of the brand, we’re just elevating what it looks like and what it sounds like,” said editor in chief Liz Plosser, who came over to lead the title in January from Well + Good, where she was senior vice president of content. Prior to that she was senior director of content and communications at SoulCycle and deputy editor of Self magazine.
“I think what I’ve brought into this role is a 360 degree view of wellness and how people are interacting with that on all different platforms and spaces,” she said, of her experience outside of the magazine realm.
The redesign is meant to make the magazine feel “more elevated and more modern,” she said and “it has an overall happy and empowered tone.” The magazine features a new section on mental health and the section formerly known as “food and weight loss” has been renamed “food and nutrition,” to reflect the fact that it is now more about health than calories.
“It used to be when we talked about wellness, you would think about the 10 pounds I have to lose or what medicines you might have to take when you are getting older. But wellness is now intersecting all parts of the industry,” said publishing director and chief revenue officer Donna Kalajian Lagani. “What had been niche has really become mainstream. And it’s an incredible avenue for marketers to connect with women who are part of this wellness generation.”
According to Kalajian Lagani, Women’s Health has seen an increase in ad pages since the Hearst acquisition and ad pages are up 3.2 percent year-over-year from July/August 2017 to July/August 2018 and new advertisers are drawing on the beauty sector, such as Unilever Dove Soap, Unilever Dove Shower Foam and Maybelline. In the latest issue, advertising for the birth control drug Lo Loestrin Fe was sold across Women’s Health and Cosmopolitan.
The brand has an initiative in the works with Arianna Huffington’s mindfulness brand Thrive, which will be a cross-platform feature guest-edited by Huffington that will run in November.
And it isn’t just Women’s Health that is benefiting from the wellness space.
Kalajian Lagani, who has worked on Cosmo for 23 years, said that since she started working on and reading Women’s Health, she has been inspired to be healthier and more mindful herself.
“I don’t just drink my coffee, I smell my coffee. I don’t just wash my face, I take a moment to give myself a massage,” she said.