For the first time, the Meredith Corp. magazine is inviting product sponsorships inside a half-dozen idealized, custom-decorated homes-in as many cities-that will be featured this spring in its pages and also on a tour open to the public.
The program capitalizes on the growing consumer appetite for "show house" tours, said Trisha Clark, marketing director for Traditional Home.
Show houses are real homes elaborately decorated by as many as 15 acclaimed interior designers. Consumers pay a fee to see the homes, and are furnished with a list of products, materials and decorators used to create the look.
The fee-$15 per person or higher-usually goes to charity.
'THESE HOMES ARE HOT'
"These homes are very hot among people who are passionate about decorating and design. Everyone wants to see firsthand how interiors come together," Ms. Clark said.
Previously, Traditional Home has sponsored show houses merely for its readers' benefit. This year, however, the every-other-monthly added the sponsor element because more product marketers are seeking hands-on exposure with influential consumers who attend show house tours, Ms. Clark said.
The magazine plans to expand its sponsored show house tour to as many as 20 homes across the U.S. next year, she said.
Obvious product categories include kitchen appliances and equipment, but lifestyle-oriented items such as beauty products, liquor and luxury cars are also being included. No sponsors have signed deals yet.
The six dream homes on this year's tour will appear in the magazine's second annual "Decorator Showcase" issue in April; the homes will be open to the public for viewing this spring.
A total of more than 75,000 consumers are expected to visit this year's batch of