Marketers will have a chance to see in August, when the provider of Happy Puppy, a popular online gaming site, officially launches Glossy (www.glossy.com), a site aimed at girls 12 to 17.
"We're an entertainment destination site," said Bridget Massey, Glossy's product manager. For this demographic, "there's not a lot of competition out there."
FORD MODELS A PARTNER
Like a traditional magazine, the site will feature stories on fashion, beauty and relationships, all of which will be updated daily with multimedia components and a chat area. Ford Models, a partner in the site, will maintain an area on modeling and lend its talent as characters, whose lives will be chronicled with video and bios like TV characters.
Eventually visitors will be able to order clothes featured on the site, something that was developed to take advantage of the medium's immediacy.
The main revenue for the site, however, is expected to come from charter sponsorships, which start at $2,000 for six-months and include any combination of banners, jump pages, product placement or advertorials. Glossy is in negotiations with six consumer brands for the sponsorships. Banners will also be sold separately at a $35 cost per thousand.
GIRLS LAG BOYS ON WEB
So far, what's available for girls online is a handful of content sites like CyberGirl, and sites created by marketers, such as the Vertigo Lounge by Procter & Gamble Co.'s Clearasil (www.clearasil.com). But girls still lag behind boys on the Web, an audience deficit that Attitude Network knows well, Ms. Massey said. Happy Puppy averages 2.3 million visitors a month, 88% of whom are male.
A major offline media blitz for Glossy is planned in August, including radio, a music video-style commercial, mall appearances and print ads. Online efforts will be limited to banners on chat and sites frequented by teen girls and parents. And to ward off parental concerns, Ms. Massey adds, chat on Glossy will be heavily monitored with mandatory registration.
`STARVED FOR CONTENT'
But will this be enough to lure girls online? Kate Delhagen, senior analyst, Forrester Research, believes so. "This is a market starved for content," Ms. Delhagen said.
The Barbie CD-ROM, she points out, was wildly successful, not solely because it was Barbie, but because there was so little else of interest available for girls. If sites like Glossy are a success, it'll be a way for marketers to reach their audience. "It's an opportunity for [marketers] to get out of the content game," said Ms. Delhagen.