Do Katrina Kaif, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Freida Pinto boost sale of magazines?

While every heroine — A-lister or otherwise — grace the covers of magazines, here are the ones who actually manage to sell more magazines

The cover girl on a fashion magazine is always the topic of intense debate and discussions among the glossy addicts. What is it that sells the cover? How crucial is the presence of a Bollywood heroine on it? Does it guarantee a sell out? We check which heroine on a magazine cover has maximum sales. Which translates into which actress the readers actually want to know more about. Read on…

Katrina Kaif: Most popular cover

Nishat Fatima, Editor, Harper’s Bazaar says, “The 2013 anniversary issue cover with Katrina Kaif in monochrome was our most popular cover last year followed very closely by Priyanka Chopra on the Jan-February. The Katrina cover had a very strong, very clear fashion direction (black and white was huge last spring) plus the March issue is always a special one as it’s our anniversary issue. I’d attribute both reasons for its performance. The Kareena Kapoor-Saif Ali Khan October 2013 cover, their first together after their marriage also generated a lot of buzz, not only because we were the first to get them — it was a coup — but also because it coincided with their first wedding year anniversary and further because the shoot inside was so of-the-moment with its paparazzi theme and instagrammish effects.”

Freida Pinto

Mehernaaz Dhondy, Editor, Grazia India says, “Our anniversary issue (April 2013) featuring Freida Pinto was the best selling cover in the last one year. The anniversary issues always do better than the others, plus Freida hadn’t been on the cover of any other Indian fashion magazine in quite a while, so the novelty factor also gets the sales going. We tried something unconventional with her in terms of styling – and it worked very well.”

About fashion risk, she adds, “While we try to strike a balance between actress and model covers, we are a country that’s obsessed with Bollywood – it’s no secret. Sometimes risks backfire, but then what’s fashion without taking a risk.”

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Superna Motwane, Editor-in-chief Noblesse says, “It depends on the timing of the issue and the topicality of the star. The Ash Noblesse cover did well because she made an appearance after a long sabbatical she took because of the baby. In L’Officiel, the SRK cover with 8 models did well and also it was the most talked-about issue. Also, Amitabh Bachchan on the cover of L’Officiel homme did very well. Bollywood covers sell 100 per cent and models have no market.”

Avoid over-exposed heroines

Asmita Aggarwal, former editor of Cosmopolitan says, “I think overexposed celebs like Sonam Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Nargis Fakhri and Alia Bhatt, who have been everywhere, hopping from one cover to another must be avoided. But magazines don’t function according to what sells, but what revenue they are getting and which brand is paying for that cover, so they use that brand ambassador of the product. It is all about surrogate advertising. The magazine business is suffering with Marie Claire and People shutting down, so the rest are only thinking of monetary gains, and not content. It is driven by the idea to make money, not offer fabulous, cutting edge content.”Bollywood star doesn’t mean high sales

* Aishwarya Subramanyam, Editor ELLE says, “It depends on how you define success. A magazine cover that features a Bollywood actor tends to create more buzz than, say, one featuring a model. In my experience however, it doesn’t necessarily translate into higher sales; that’s a bit of a myth. For example, I have seen that putting a celebrity on the cover of a lean month makes almost no difference to how many copies are sold. I think the cover itself has to be a stunner, regardless of who is on it.”

* Nishat adds, “All our model covers (out latest was Jan-Feb 2014) have done just as well as celebrity covers. In fact some of them have done better than celebrity covers.”

“I can’t say which celeb face sells, but I can say that Elle’s new editor Aishwarya Subramanyam has been thinking out of the box with her last cover on the ode to homosexuality, which made the magazine readable. So she avoided a celeb, but made a point with that cover and that for me was the winner,” adds Asmita.