Smithsonian attracts an estimated 6.9 million readers bringing knowledge and popular culture within its articles based on arts, science, history, travel information and culture. Both men and women starting at the age of 50 and up that have an average income of $78,744 read this magazine. The average reader is the age of 56. Smithsonian is published 11 times a year as both a print and digital publication. Established in 1970, there has been an audited circulation of 2,012,681 copies sold. Smithsonian attracts this crowd because it brings intellectual articles mixed in with the popular culture.

Smithsonian is able to connect the readers over time between the past and the future. Smithsonian is different from other magazines because of historical and scientific articles that National Geographic or other travel magazines would not have. It specifically targets Smithsonian museums with its articles and talks about worldly issues. Some of Smithsonian’s competitors include National Geographic, Travel and Leisure, Parade, Forbes and Men’s Journal.

The order and content to Smithsonian starts off with the contributors, discussions and letter from the editor then follows with the smaller stories to the big, feature story that is on the front cover of the magazine. Smithsonian has around 70 to 75 pages in each magazine. About half of Smithsonian magazine consists advertisements ranging from full page to a half page or on the side. The advertisements range from clothing to banking, investing companies, and organizations of different diseases that the older generation can relate to, such as the Alzheimer’s Association or for hearing aids. There are a lot of different advertisements throughout the magazine. Smithsonian’s advertisements are targeted to the older generation and are related more to health or investing. There are advertisements for diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other diseases that are more common with the age group. There are also other advertisements that are related to collecting silver dollars and different types of coins. There are smaller ads for “guided vacations” to different parts of North America.

Smithsonian magazine advertises cards that are attached to the magazine and that fall out of the magazine. They get readers to sign up to be a Smithsonian member and receive a discount card that includes benefits such as, 11 issues throughout the year, money-saving discounts at Smithsonian museums, free digital edition for the iPad, reduced rates on IMAX films and Planetarium shows at the museum and a personalized membership card.

The magazine editorial content matches its philosophy and audience perfectly to its mission statement. According to Smithsonian, its mission statement is, “Smithsonian magazine and place a Smithsonian lens on the world, looking at the topics and subject matters researched, studied and exhibited by the Smithsonian Institution — science, history, art, popular culture and innovation — and chronicling them every day for our diverse readership.” All articles clearly emphasize the mission statement and make it clear to the reader that what they will be reading is about one of the topics, such as science, history or art. In one of the articles under science, an article, “Can a Gorilla Really Get Drunk From Bamboo?” headlines the page in a slideshow with an image of a gorilla. This article clearly catches the reader’s attention and makes you want to see how science will correlate a gorilla and bamboo.

Smithsonian contains contributors that are notable and famous photographers in the world. The staff is bigger in size on even though this magazine has freelance writers and photographers that take up stories inside the magazine. Smithsonian’s Editor in Chief is Michael Caruso and owned by Christopher A. Liedel. Smithsonian is spread out all over the United States and throughout different countries around the world.

Smithsonian’s design also matches its philosophy and audience because they colors that will not take away from the cover page and use colors that will attract the reader. They like to use red for Smithsonian on the cover and red captures anyone’s attention. The colors used in the articles are very colorful and make the reader feel at ease and make them actually want to read the magazine and flip through each page.


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