We live in a predominantly negative world.

The 2017 Gallup Emotions report stated that 2017 was the world’s most miserable year in decades. And sorry, but 2019 looks on course to beat that.

Brexit, Trump, knife crime, a greater division between the haves and the have nots, terrorism, mental health, discrimination, food banks, obesity, drugs and a fragile economy. They are all contributing to a greater sense of anxiety and concern. This is fuelled further by our 24-hour news society which exacerbates the bad news day in day out. This is not just perception, a study by Queen Mary University discovered that negative news coverage went up 24 per cent between 1974 to 2013.

The rise of Social Media hasn’t helped either. A study in 2017 by behavioural scientist, Clarissa Silva, states that 50 per cent of people said social media had a negative effect on their relationships and 60 per cent saying it had impacted on their self-esteem. Whilst the Edelman Trust barometer states that 63 per cent of consumers do not know if the news they read is real or fake anymore.

Negativity is growing all around us and sadly, as humans, we don’t respond well to this. We tend to remember the bad news more than the good. We store negative news in a more accessible place in our brains. We are our own worst enemies. This is termed as the negative availability heuristic.

So much so, only 4 per cent of us believe that the world is improving, when in fact on many levels it actually is. We are in danger of being a half empty nation. But do not despair, as there are some beacons of positivity in our world and these beacons now have an even greater role to play in our lives than ever before.

It’s good to be positive.

There is a wealth of evidence that suggests being positive is a damn fine thing to be. The likes of Barbara Fredrickson tell us that having a positive mindset means you are more likely to feel happier and healthier, enjoy better relationships, reduce stress, be more purposeful, try new things, be more productive and take more action. Who wouldn’t want this? Keen to know more, Hearst recently commissioned research on positivity that shows 77 per cent of people with a positive disposition took some form of action after consuming media, compared to 67 per cent of those who were feeling more negative. This is a 15 per cent increase.1

Our research went further. We now know, for example, that positive people respond more favourably to brands they see advertised, with an 18 per cent increase in brand favourability being achieved amongst positive people compared to 3 cent amongst negative people. The same applies to brand consideration too. Increases double amongst positive people. And, as we all know, if you shift consideration, then brands can see an improvement in sales and ROI.1

In a marketing world of micro targeting, it seems crazy that brands are not deliberately trying to target and influence audiences most likely to take action. Brands should block out negative people and focus all their efforts on reaching audiences in a positive disposition. Simply put, if you want your advertising to work harder, then engage with positive people within positive content and experiences.

So where are these positive people and what are their most positive media experiences?

Magazines are a beacon of positivity

It should be no surprise to any of us that consumer magazine brands provide the most positive trusted environments and audiences in media.

We have been doing this for generations. It is what we do. Good Housekeeping, for example, launched in 1922, as a post-war guide for women to help make their homes a better place for soldiers returning from the First World War. Dial forward nearly 100 years and Good Housekeeping is the largest selling monthly magazine with over 1.3m readers, 2.4m digital uniques and a 1.5m social following, influencing the women of today on how to enhance their lives.

Our research tells us that magazines (alongside Cinema, music streaming and the selection of your favourite tv shows on demand) make people feel more positive than any other media experience.1 But what stands us apart is magazines also have real purpose and solicit action.

Consumers of magazine content love to discover and progress. They are twice as likely to have tried something new compared to consumers who don’t read magazines at all. Twice as likely.1

The more consumers engage with magazine brands, the better they feel and the more purposeful they become. For advertisers, this news can only be exciting as the simple truth is, if we feel more positive, we take more action.

And we can prove it, 26 per cent of magazine consumers have gone on to buy a product they have seen advertised versus 11 per cent for non-magazine readers.1

With an ad experience that blends in and ad attention levels that beat all other media.2 It is astonishing that the ad market has decided to ignore this and focus on short term shiny new media that engages with consumers who are not always feeling particularly tip-top.

Magazine brands are a true beacon of positivity in our turbulent world.

We offer something truly compelling and unique. A trusted personal and often calm place where brands can feel safe, get noticed and most importantly, stimulate action. No other media experience offers such a positive audience or environment. If a brand wants to grow, get new customers and solicit action then magazine brands should be the destination to explore new partnerships.

And there has never been a better time to work with us. The magazine industry is full of marketing innovation. Outside of traditional advertising and sponsorship, magazine brands offer the best commercial content creators, trusted brand endorsement, licensing, experiential marketing, sampling, fabulous bespoke consumer research and audience insights, commerce solutions and great campaigning for good causes such as mental health and body confidence. No other medium also offers such a huge breadth and depth of opportunity for advertisers.

The world is a better and a more positive place with magazine brands in it. For people and for business.

  • 1 The power of positivity by Hearst and Theobalds Road
  • 2 Attention Please