With designs on building awareness and ultimately a loyal reader base for its top Web sites, CondeNet, the 3-year-old online publishing division of Conde Nast, will launch its first traditional media campaign. Print ads in trade publications break at month’s end; buys for outdoor and consumer publications start in July. CondeNet will spend $5 million in the second half of the year, the most ever to promote its Web properties.
The campaign, developed by Berlin Cameron & Partners, New York, was conceived to raise awareness for the CondeNet brand as well as the Epicurious Food and Travel lifestyle sites, the younger-oriented relationship site, Swoon, and Phys, a nutrition and physical fitness site.
“We could have done it last year or next year,” said Sarah Chubb, director of CondeNet. “But when we looked at 1998 planning we felt that this year would be best in terms of things coming together.”
The campaign will run in New York, Yahoo! Internet Life, The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times and Conde Nast books including Gourmet, Self, GQ, House & Garden and Conde Nast Sports for Women. Media spending for the Conde Nast books alone is worth about $3 million of the $5 million total. Ads for Phys and Swoon will run in postcard racks, subway cars and other unusual media such as airplane banners.
“The sites are full, rich and deep enough that we can put some force behind the campaign,” said Tricia Viscardi, CondeNet director of marketing. “Before now we were so busy explaining what we were talking about. Now we’ve reached critical mass and can focus on a true brand campaign.”
The print campaign begins with ads for Epicurious Travel. Food, Swoon and Phys will follow, each getting separate executions.
Epicurious Food and Travel, the first CondeNet sites, launched in 1995. The Swoon debut was 1996. Phys went live last year.
All told, the four sites generate 21 million page views a month, the company said. Epicurious Food and Swoon draw the biggest crowds, registering 8 million page views and 6 million page views, respectively.
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