The Jubilee is almost upon us, and that is reflected(!) in the IPC Editors’ Group’s covers of the month. Overall winner is Horse & Hound for its portrayal of ’Britain’s best-loved horsewoman’. No, it’s not Katie Price, it is of course, Her Madge.
There must be something about the royal family that just gets magazine editors all excited. Kill the coverlines! Make the picture black and white! Silver foil block the logo! And so it is with this really excellent cover. I love it when a brand identifies a high value subject (or ruler) and proves decisively that it truly owns them. Vogue does it, but it’s still a pretty rare event. Here, Horse & Hound shows that despite everything, the Queen is a Horse & Hound reader at heart.
But there’s a new side to this story that I only learned today. Horse & Hound was conducting research on the title last month, and decided to take advantage of direct contact with the readers by showing them a whole bunch of different pictures, and seeing which they preferred. They discovered that initial interest in the idea was cool, but as the Jubilee approached, the pictures became more appealing
Here are a few of the pictures that were shown. The winning picture is bottom left, next to big fat colour shot that was the second choice. Rejected in the end, because it felt too familiar. The cover has been a huge hit, it’s the best selling issue of the year so far. There are many reasons of course, but for me the thing I like about it best is that the Queen is not wearing a hat. This NEVER happens on equestrian titles, for reasons of ‘elf and safety. So for one glorious day, here we have the boss breaking the rules, and the readers secretly imagining they can do the same.