The Girl Next Door
Magazine Creates a Brand for Women Who Work
The New York Times
By Stuart Elliott
The actress Katie Holmes is on the cover of the first Marie Claire@Work supplement.
The American edition of Marie Claire magazine is expanding its editorial purview and looking for additional advertising with a supplement devoted to working women. The effort is another sign of how print media outlets are seeking to meet the challenges posed by digital media.
The 72-page supplement will be bundled with 435,000 copies of the November issue of the American Marie Claire to be sent to subscribers in the 10 largest markets. The supplement will also be available with 100,000 copies of the issue to be sold at newsstands.
The November issue was selected to introduce the supplement because the issue is devoted to the subject of money. The American Marie Claire is published by a joint venture of Hearst Magazines, part of the Hearst Corporation, and the Comary unit of Marie Claire Album, a French company.
The supplement is named Marie Claire@Work, although given its roots it perhaps ought to be called Marie Claire au Travail. The supplement is described on the cover, which features the actress Katie Holmes, as your get-ahead guide for career, style and success.
Among other examples of efforts by publishers to remain relevant, the Meredith Corporation has started a Web site, recipe.com, and acquired two food magazines, EatingWell and Every Day With Rachael Ray, and Food & Wine magazine plans to run a 24-page advertorial section in its January issue that will be titled Top Chef Magazine, after the Bravo series Top Chef, of which Food & Wine is a sponsor.
Also, Bloomberg L.P. is testing Bloomberg Pursuits, a spinoff of its Bloomberg Markets magazine, and Hearst has teamed with Scripps Networks Interactive to bring out two publications inspired by cable channels, Food Network Magazine and HGTV Magazine.
Print is not dead, Joanna Coles, editor in chief of Marie Claire and Marie Claire@Work, said in an interview last week.
Every month, we have a lot of editorial content dedicated to career, said Ms. Coles, who estimated that 87 percent of the readers of Marie Claire primarily women ages 21 to 34 work.
Nancy Berger Cardone, vice president, publisher and chief revenue officer at Marie Claire and Marie Claire@Work, said, When I have a meeting at an advertising agency or media agency, the majority of people sitting at the conference table are women.
When Joanna said, What if we did a dedicated supplement for women who are successful and women who aspire to be them? Ms. Cardone said, she liked the idea at once even if it meant expanding in a sluggish economy.
In times of economic uncertainty, thats when the best innovations happen, Ms. Cardone said, and it is when marketers need to keep the right customers coming into stores.
The primary advertiser in Marie Claire@Work, with 14 ad pages, is Express, the apparel retailer, which is being billed the presenting sponsor. Other ad pages are being bought by Barnes & Noble; Bulova, owned by Citizen Watch; the Chevrolet division of General Motors; Cigna; Manilla, a personal account management service backed by Hearst; and Laura Mercier cosmetics.
The ad revenue from the supplement is being estimated at almost $1 million, with Express accounting for more than half. Ad pages in Marie Claire through the first three quarters of 2011 rose 7.6 percent compared with the same period of last year; the supplement will count toward Marie Claires fourth-quarter ad-page tallies.
In a nod to the pull of the Internet among the target audience for Marie Claire@Work, there will be a digital edition of the supplement including three video clips in the iTunes store and from Zinio. Express, which will be the sole sponsor of the digital edition, is to send it to eight million customers on its e-mail lists.
Also, Marie Claire@Work will be represented on the Marie Claire Web site, marieclaire.com. And Marie Claire will set up a career network on LinkedIn, the business-focused social networking Web site.
Marie Claire@Work is a brand extension in every platform, Ms. Cardone said.
Marie Claire would like to publish two Marie Claire@Work supplements next year, she added, in April and November, and we see it evolving into 2013 with additional frequency.
Ms. Coles said, Our dream would be to do it four times a year.
In the meantime, there are plans for a speaker series of four events, Power Lunch With Marie Claire@Work, which will also be presented by Express. The lunches are to be held in New York in October and November.
And in an offbeat effort to promote the arrival of Marie Claire@Work, there are plans this week to send sponsored manicurists into the offices of 10 leading agencies in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.
Express, which creates its advertising internally, began buying ad pages in Marie Claire this year. Our customers are men and women in their 20s, the girl and guy out of college, probably in a first job and discovering the first stage of a new life, said Lisa Gavales, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Express.
Marie Claire@Work seemed to be targeting that exact same girl we were interested in, she added, a shopper who wants to look professional when dressing for work but not look like her mom in a suit.
As for undertaking a new venture in a dodgy economy, as weve reported for the last couple of quarters, our business is very good, Ms. Gavales said. It is not hunker-down time; it is build the brand, build business.
In good years and bad, she added, theres always somebody taking market share and somebody losing market share.