Posts tagged with "Advertising Age"

Everything old is new again: ‘Architectural Digest’ relaunches ‘Clever’ for young, design-savvy readers

May 5, 2020

Conde Nast’s Architectural Digest, the venerable shelter magazine that’s celebrating its 100th birthday this year, is today rolling out a relaunch of its Clever digital brand, in hopes of reaching a young, design-savvy audience, Advertising Age reports.

 

Architectural Digest first launched Clever in October 2017 as a dedicated digital brand for 18- to 34-year-olds (versus the over-50 demographic that follows the main brand). The point was to leverage the magazine’s expertise and reputation to speak to a younger, design-savvy audience that might not be quite ready to use the world-class (and pricey) architects and designers whose work dominates the pages of the print mothership.

Clever’s editorial mission is about sharing “real-life design advice that’s both practical and inspiring,” Amy Astley, AD’s editor-in-chief, told Ad Age. Now, “After nearly three years of steady growth and engagement—with an increasingly wider readership, from renovating homeowners to redecorating renters—it’s time to take Clever to the next level.”

Astley charged Keith Pollock, AD’s executive digital director, with leading the relaunch project—and he has made a host of changes to the fledgling publication.

According to Ad Age, Clever will be releasing regular digital covers designed for sharing on social media. The first, out this week and shown above, features Laura Harrier, who stars in Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix miniseries “Hollywood.” 

In addition, Clever will crank up its renovation coverage with how-to guides (e.g., the upcoming “Everything You Need to Know About Wood Floors”) and add new areas of focus—including sustainability and wellness—to what it calls its Conversation channel.

For a deeper dive into the media strategy behind the new Clever, Ad Age spoke with Pollock, who explained the rationale for the new e-zine. “Although it’s likely a print reader will also enjoy Clever, we set out to create a brand that was autonomous from AD,” he said, adding, “There is a shared spirit between the two brands, in terms of the varied design styles that inspire us, but the approach is entirely different.”

And that difference, Pollack told AdAge, is  actionable service. “They’re embarking on their first home renovation, they’re shopping for home decor. They’re looking for practical tips and “news they can use,” as Amy says. The Clever reader appreciates a well-designed home, but they have questions about how to attain it.”

“Clever is not about speaking to designers; it’s about homeowners taking matters into their own hands. We use the term DIY: design it yourself. On Clever, we are empowering our readers to use our guides and tools to create a home that has an individual point of view.”

What’s more, readers will be able to buy the home goods they see and want in Clever on its new e-commerce site. “We’ve seen 80% growth in click-through to affiliate sites, year over year. In an effort to add more value and service, we wanted to enhance the e-commerce experience and make it more of a clear focus,” said Pollack.

E-commerce will be layered into all of our articles, but we’re also launching a new channel dedicated entirely to shopping content. If you want to come to Clever and just go down a shopping wormhole, you can.”

And will the relaunch t to appeal to readers whose lives have changed during the pandemic? “With our relaunch,” Pollack told AdAge, “we’ve committed to producing more content about wellness at home in our revamped Conversation channel.

“At this moment, we’re tackling topics we probably wouldn’t have considered a few months ago, like advice on how to manage your anxiety while you’re stuck at home, or how to quarantine with a romantic partner. Like most brands, we’re experimenting to see what our audience responds to during this time, and we’ve tapped into an interest in mental and physical health at home.

“Home is the center of everyone’s universe right now,:” he said, “and Clever is all about making your home your own, whether those changes are big or small.”

Research contact: @adage

Going out with a bang-up ad campaign: VW bids farewell to the Beetle on New Year’s Eve

January 1, 2020

Volkswagen is saying goodbye to the Beetle during the last moments of 2019 with a little help from a Beatles song, actor Kevin Bacon, the late pop artist Andy Warhol, and Bravo’s Andy Cohen, Advertising Age reports.

A nostalgia-laden animated ad called “The Last Mile” will get a significant push during New Year’s Eve TV programming, with airings on ABC, CNN, as well as digital billboard buys on Times Square. The spot, by Johannes Leonardo, depicts the iconic car’s role in the life of a man who is shown growing old with the Beetle, which ended production earlier this year after a run that began in the 1930s. Along the way, the ad works in references to the Beetle’s outsized role in pop culture.

The soundtrack—a rendition of the Beatle’s “Let it Be” sung by Chicago-area children’s choir Pro Musica Youth Chorus—is a nod to the car’s appearance on the Abbey Road album cover, Ad Age notes.

Bacon appears in animated form as Ren, the Beetle-driving character he played in  the 1984 movie Footloose. An animated version of Warhol quickly appears (at the 1:01 mark, snapping a photo of the Beetle) in a nod to a painting the pop artist did of the car.

The ad also includes a reference to VW’s classic “Think Small” and “Lemon” ad campaigns from the 1960s by the agency Doyle Dane Bernbach.

Cohen appears at the 1:03 mark, on the receiving end of a “punch buggy”—the old road trip game that calls for a punch on the arm upon spotting a Beetle. The Bravo personality will co-host CNN’s New Year’s Eve coverage. He teased the ad on Instagram with a paid post encouraging followers to post pictures of their own Beetles, the news outlet said..

It’s part of a larger influencer campaign that will include postings from other Beetle enthusiasts. The TV ad will also run during NBC’s January 1 coverage of the National Hockey League’s “Winter Classic;” as well as during college football programming, including the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl.

Research contact: @adage

Ahead of her time? Were Faith Popcorn’s predictions correct for 2018?

October 3, 2018

She is not a psychic or a fortune-teller. However, “futurist” Faith Popcorn claims that her strategic consultancy, the New York City-based BrainReserve, can tell her corporate clients—with 95% accuracy—what’s ahead in the shifting consumer and cultural landscape. And she has been offering her remarkably accurate insights into impending American lifestyle trends through her TrendBank since 1974.

 But just how reliable is Popcorn? In 1986, she told Coca-Cola that bottled water would be the Next Big Thing. A couple of years later, she gave Kodak a heads-up that film was on its last legs.

We took a look at some predictions that Popcorn offered to Advertising Age in January 2018, to see whether she was “on the money” for this year.

Note: Popcorn said her predictions would not reach the mainstream for at least 15-20 years, but that signs would begin emerging during the year ahead.

To begin with, Popcorn painted “ a shockingly bleak view of gender relations in the wake of the sexual harassment scandals” that rocked the corporate and entertainment worlds in 2017: The sexes will be separated, she predicted—at least at work, she told Ad Age.

“I think there will be female-only floors in companies and male-only floors,” she says. “There will be rage rooms where men can act out because they are going to be very angry.”

Second, Popcorn told the trade journal, “digital doctors” will become increasingly popular. A trip to the doctor could soon become obsolete as people increasingly monitor their health via embedded computer chips, swallow-able trackers, and color-changing dots that rest on the skin’s surface, Popcorn predicted.

“Doctors are going to become keyboard technicians,  because all the measuring apertures will be in your body,” she says. “You can have a full checkup without even being there.”

Amazon—which is eyeing a move into prescription drug marketing—will play a major role on this new health playing field, she suggested. The company “can control the entire supply chain and tap their deep data insights,” her firm stated in its 2018 predictions presentation.

As for the number-one upcoming health threat, Popcorn predicted that anxiety would be rife nationwide. And, she said, virtual reality will prove to be the most-used stress-relief solution.

Instead of hitting the road for a relaxing vacation, for instance, people will plug into a VR experience. “You don’t really go anywhere,” Popcorn says.

 With VR, nothing is out of reach, including a relaxing trip to outer space or a Narnia-like snow voyage, her firm predicts. Brands could get involved by buying ad placements in these virtual weekends away. “It’s a new media,” she said.

On the weather front, Popcorn anticipated that climate change would lead to strict environmental monitoring and extreme survivalist solutions, with shore towns, under threat from rising tides, being replaced by floating cities, according to the predictions presentation.

Finally, back in January, Popcorn forecast, “Your interior life is about to go public,” noting that technology like facial recognition will be used to monitor our moods.

Your escape mechanism? “Private, scan-free get-togethers where people can vent, mourn and rejoice without prying AI eyes” will take hold.

For most of us these predictions may be too close for comfort. Brace yourselves: Popcorn’s 2019 predictions will be out soon.

 Research contact: info@faithpopcorn.com