The Epicurious Web site; the new "Epicurious" TV show, set to debut in October on the Discovery Channel; and three Conde Nast magazines, Bon Appetit, Gourmet and Conde Nast Traveler, are part of a $1 million integrated and customized package now being offered to one ad sponsor.
The deal includes a Conde Nast-conducted research project evaluating the effectiveness of the integrated media.
EXCLUSIVE SPONSORSHIP AREA
The buyer will get an exclusive sponsorship area, banners and links on the Web site, billboards and spot advertising during the TV show, and tailored print advertorial sections in the three magazines in November and December issues. Also included is the "Appetite for Adventure" sweepstakes that drives consumers to at least two of the three media outlets to enter to win a food-related vacation.
Conde Nast already has strong interest from General Motors Corp., although those talks have been put on hold because of the auto workers' strike, said Catherine Viscardi Johnston, exec VP at Conde Nast. Meanwhile, Conde Nast is talking to other marketers in the automotive category, as well as marketers in the technology and travel categories, she said. An advertiser will have to be found by the beginning of August to be able to complete the custom print advertising in time for the November issues.
"While many have talked the talk, few [media companies] have actually been able to put together a truly integrated multimedia package, and the research is really what makes it cutting edge," said Leslie Becker, director of advertising sales partnerships for Discovery Communications, which oversees the Discovery Channel in addition to Animal Planet and the Learning Channel.
The research project, designed in concert with the sweepstakes promotion across the three media, will attempt to measure the effectiveness of integrated media through analysis coordinated within Conde Nast's research department. "We don't want the research to look at the different forms of media separately," Ms. Viscardi said. "We already know what magazines, the Internet and TV can do. But does it make a difference in the mind of the consumer when they are together? The real opportunity is putting together marketing packages and finding out if [the package] is bigger than the three forms of media separately."
AN IDEA FOR A TV SHOW
The Epicurious Web site (food.epicurious.com) was one of the first CondeNet sites to be launched, in 1995, and with its success came discussions between Conde Nast, CondeNet and Discovery Channel, in which Conde Nast parent Advance Publications owns an interest. Executives at the three media took a "what if we try this?" approach and came up with the TV show idea, as well as the integrated multiple-media advertising and research model. Epicurious Food editors worked on the show along with Discovery Channel and its production company.
" `Epicurious' has to pull its own weight as a TV show, but if everything works as we expect it to, it will be a great cross-branding vehicle not only for the Web site but for the magazines, too," said Sarah Chubb, director, CondeNet.
Consumers will be driven from one medium to another by the sweepstakes promotion, as well as other means. For instance, the TV show will direct viewers to theConde Nast Web site for printed copies of recipes featured on the show, Ms. Becker said.
The 30-minute "Epicurious" TV show starts Oct. 3 and will run twice on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. ET for an initial run of 13 weeks.
EXPANDING OTHER BRANDS
Conde Nast is looking to extend two of its other magazine brands (one is said to be Conde Nast Traveler) into TV, according to Ms. Johnston, and the research resulting from this project should help with those development plans.
One of the magazines eyeing TV possibilities is also considering its own Web site, as is one other unnamed Conde Nast title, she added
Conde Nast has so far avoided letting its individual titles start their own branded sites, preferring to create new brands for online such as Epicurious, Phys (www.phys.com) and Swoon (www.swoon.com).