If Hearst Magazines Digital Media wanted to make a splash with its first NewFront presentation, it succeeded, not only putting actor Channing Tatum on stage to announce a partnership between Cosmopolitan.com and his new "Magic Mike Live" show in Las Vegas but having him dance with the cast of the show.
Besides Mr. Tatum, Hearst gave starring roles to Snapchat and Facebook Live during Wednesday's presentation. The company announced plans for two new Snapchat shows: "Snaphacks" on Cosmoplitan's Discover channel and "The Sweet Guide to Living a Better Life" on the Sweet Discover channel.
"If you want to connect with a millennial audience, you need to get Snapchat right," Hearst Magazines Digital Media President Troy Young told ad buyers in the audience. "And there's no one better to help you with that than Hearst."
Mr. Young said Hearst does 200 broadcasts each month on Facebook Live. But the company is taking it a step further by starting a Facebook Live series called "Who's That Guy?" that will ask viewers to guess the identity of a mysterious, fashionable individual. It will be hosted by recently installed Esquire Editor-in-Chief Jay Fielden.
Hearst also announced several new digital video shows, including a few that focus on issues of gender identity. "My Turn" from Elle "features the stories of inspiring, powerful women who break boundaries and lead change," according to the company, while Esquire has a new show called "Manhood."
Esquire is doing a show about editorial employee Frank Kobola and his "mission to reclaim his manhood" after working for Cosmopolitan.
And Cosmo struck up a partnership with director and actress Elizabeth Banks' new comedy site WhoHaHa, which Ad Age profiled in April.
Mr. Young made his case for Hearst as an advertising partner, and shared some thoughts on the value of particular formats. "We believe an over-reliance on pre-roll limits the growth and effectiveness of your video," he said.
Hearst Magazines Publishing Director Michael Clinton presented at the end of the night, and said he'd already had a few bites from interested marketers. "I already got some texts and emails from people who wanted a first look, so I can meet you at the bar for a drink," he told the crowd.