According to the New York Times, Condé Nasts Fashion Rocks extravaganza, headlined by Elton, will be broadcast in 20 countries. Also planned are a star-studded after-party and E! red carpet special.
And although a mag is now on newstands, Condé Nast does not like being called a mere magazine company. Were content providers, said Richard D. Beckman, the president of the Condé Nast media group. Were a company that provides content.
But even at a time when magazine companies are constantly competing for attention outside of their glossy publications, Fashion Rocks is an unusually elaborate production.
Mr. Beckman said it was now four times the size it was at its debut in 2004.
CBS will broadcast the two-hour event on September 8–a day after the show–and later it will play in some 20 countries. A Web site, www.fashionrocks06.com, contains video, promotions and commentary on fashion, beauty and music.
A gaggle of parties associated with the event are to be held at retail stores like Prada and Guess, and a glittering bash at Rockefeller Center follows the show.
Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, supervised a corresponding one-time glossy publication titled Fashion Rocks, with Beyoncé and Jamie Foxx on the cover, and a two-page interview with Elton inside. The publication, aimed at young men and women, will be delivered to subscribers of 17 magazines, including Vogue, The New Yorker and Details, and 100,000 stand-alone copies will be offered on newsstands for $4.95.
Advertisers, who are demanding a lot more than the print product from magazine companies lately, have responded in droves.
The program has brought in upward of $45 million in ad revenue and at least 32 major advertisers, 10 of them spending in the seven figures. The top sponsors are the Chevrolet division of General Motors, Cingular, the Citi unit of Citigroup and LOréal Paris, all big Condé Nast advertisers.
One top advertiser, Citi, saw an opportunity to reach a wide range of consumers who are interested in fashion and music from country to rap, said Mark Ingall, managing director of global strategic media for Citigroup in New York.
We know from the demographics of the magazines that these are the people we want to reach, Mr. Ingall said.
One of the top four advertisers, Cingular, wanted to invest ad dollars because Condé Nast has opportunities to bridge advertisers with the people featured in those editorial products, whether its fashion writers or musical artists, said John Burbank, the vice president of marketing for Cingular Wireless.
For us, it was really interesting to be involved in a truly integrated marketing program that includes a major event like Fashion Rocks, plus all of the reach that Condé Nast can provide, Mr. Burbank said. Magazine companies also have opportunities to do much more with their assets.
Other companies, like Hearst, have recently come out with their own multimedia programs. Last month, Hearst began an initiative called ”30 Days of Fashion” that included blogs, podcasts, fashion shows and concerts.
The program brought in almost $10 million in advertising revenue and fees from a handful of major advertisers.
Luring marketers to spend more ad dollars in print magazines is becoming an increasingly difficult task. Within the last five years, many advertisers have devoted more money to online ads to reach consumers who are turning away from print. For companies like Condé Nast and Hearst, staging elaborate multimedia productions is a way to keep ad dollars coming to magazine publishers even if it involves selling sponsorship of an event instead of just ad pages in a magazine.
Mr. Beckman said he hoped Fashion Rocks would brand Condé Nast as the leading purveyor of multimedia events in the industry. Its not about creating some whistles and bells to sell some ad space, he said.