September 11th, 2008
Glamour Rolls Out Web-Video Platform With Key Advertisers
By Andrew Hampp
Conde Nast Title Ventures Further Into Branded Content
Three years after launching its groundbreaking “Reel Moments” short-film series, Glamour continues to branch out in the realm of branded entertainment.
Earlier this week, the Conde Nast fashion title introduced Glamour.TV, a new web-video platform aimed at expanding Glamour content into bite-sized video clips, customized to key advertisers.
Looks are everything
Dockers, for example, is the sponsor of “Moms Working It,” a show that interviews celebrity mothers such as Jennie Garth, Solange Knowles and Nikki Taylor. Revlon is the presenting sponsor of “Beauty Wars,” a makeover competition series, hosted by “Entourage” co-star Debi Mazar, in which makeup artists from around the world strive to create the consummate look for the American woman. There’s also “The List,” a fashion and entertainment news show, hosted by model Molly Sims and E!’s Giuliana Rancic, that is co-sponsored by Estee Lauder and Burberry.
Bill Wackermann, senior VP-publishing director of Glamour, said the model is reminiscent of the TV-sponsorship model of the 1950s. “It harkens back to when advertisers were in the business of promoting their own shows, promoting their brands and having more creative control of the process.”
(To highlight the vintage ad model, Glamour this week literally trotted out the vintage by sending waiters to its top ad clients in New York with champagne and TV dinners prepared by Kurt Gutenbrunner, the Austrian chef of uber-trendy West Village bistro Wallse.)
Glamour.TV is the second video site of its kind to emerge from a Conde Nast fashion title in the past year, following last year’s late-summer launch of ShopVogue.TV (now Vogue.TV). Both magazines have taken an aggressive stance on owning their own content online at a time when everyone from Elle to Marie Claire is partnering with TV networks for reality TV projects.
An image to maintain
“We’ve been approached on almost every one of those deals for a reality show. You pick the program—magazine partners are always being asked to participate,” Mr. Wackermann said. “But that becomes about their show and their brand vs. ours, and if you have a small brand you may benefit from being associated with that show. But Glamour reaches 12.8 million women; our brand is larger than the audience that watches those shows at any given time. For us, when we do something to extend our brand into different media, it has to be what is relevant to our consumer and our brand.”
Glamour is also experiencing growth in year-over-year web traffic going into the launch of Glamour.TV, an encouraging sign that the site could find a sizeable audience early on. Since July 2007, Glamour.com’s monthly traffic has increased 118% to 862,708 users, according to ComScore. Its Conde Nast sibling, Vogue.TV, also reached a viewership milestone earlier this week when “Model.Live,” an original series co-distributed by social-networking site Bebo, passed the 1 million view, or video streams, mark after five episodes. In just two weeks “Model.Live” drew enough traffic to Vogue.TV to send its unique viewer stats past the 1 million mark as well, having accumulated 900,000 users since launching in August 2007.
Said Vogue Publisher Tom Florio of the site’s economic model, “We want to make sure clients get the print, that we’re not giving away the business like everyone else out there. [But if a client] moves 10% of their budget to the internet, we want to show them where the tonnage is coming from. ... You’ve got everyone in Hollywood trying to suck money out of this business, so we want to work together exclusively with advertisers online, or package together with pages.”
Mr. Wackermann said Glamour.TV’s first season will carry through October, when the latest installment of “Glamour Reel Moments” will also appear on Glamour.com. On tap for this year’s short films are directors Demi Moore and Courteney Cox, featuring stars such as Rumer Willis (Ms. Moore’s daughter), Anna Faris and Laura Dern.
Glamour is also actively in talks with the major video distributors to help syndicate Glamour.TV content online. Vogue.TV already has deals in place with Hulu, TiVo, Tidal TV, Veoh and JuiceCaster.