‘Brides’ Refreshes With New Look, Content

Straight talk about sex, money among changes

Last fall, in the midst of a publisher shake-up across Condé Nast, Brides magazine found itself in the hands of a new publisher—Michelle Myers, formerly at Lucky—and a new editor in chief—Anne Fulenwider, previously the executive editor of Hearst’s Marie Claire. Six months later, the pair is gearing up to fully relaunch Brides, updating everything from the magazine’s logo to its editorial voice for its May issue.

“We’re just hitting the refresh button,” Fulenwider told Adweek. “We absolutely remain a magazine about wedding dresses and great ideas and décor and color palettes.…But we really want to open the conversation in the magazine to the conversation that readers are having at home." That means having frank discussions about topics like sex, travel, real estate and financial planning.

The revamped Brides also will have an increased trim size and additional front-of-book sections, including Stylist, which focuses on the bride’s overall look and includes an inspiration board based on sites like Pinterest (the digital pinboard has been a big hit with Brides readers, said Fulenwider).

It’s hoped that the expanded editorial view will attract new advertisers, of course. Recent additions to the book already include Geico, Kellogg’s Special K, Universal Pictures and Schick. Like most magazines, Brides is facing a tough climate for print advertising; ad pages declined 9.4 percent to 771 in Q1, per Publishers Information Bureau.

To promote the redesign, Brides is launching a campaign called “We Love It.” The multiplatform program includes TV and Web promotion with TLC, outdoor ads, and a digital component using SnapTag technology aimed at getting readers to interact with editorial and advertising content by offering prizes.