New branded content arm will feature contributions from Condé Nast editorial team
Native advertising on some of the most popular digital magazine sites in the world will be produced by Condé Nast editorial personnel, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The sponsored content – which will now come under the umbrella of new in-house studio 23 Stories by Condé Nast – will include video as well as other branded media.
Marketers stand to gain from Condé Nast’s expertise, distribution, and first-person data, among other privileges of partnership.
“We are changing the branded content game with 23 Stories by Condé Nast by offering marketers, for the first time, access to our unparalleled editorial assets,” CMO Edward Menicheschi said in statement.
“As clients seek to elevate their storytelling and define themselves as publishers, we believe Condé Nast is uniquely qualified to partner with them to deliver compelling content, targeted to the right audiences at scale.”
Menicheschi told the Wall Street Journal that “With all due respect to the players in the space, we don’t think the quality is particularly there. We think we can do better.”
VP of Marketing Solutions Pat Connolly will lead 23 Stories, while Art Director Raul Martinez will consult. An executive for the video department, which will use resources from Condé Nast Entertainment, has yet to be named.
The announcement comes eight months after a 4,000-word memo from Condé Nast Editorial Director Tom Wallace that sought to formalize and codify the publisher’s native advertising policies as an “evolving set of practices.” It was interpreted by some staffers as a list of do’s and don’ts on what they could offer advertisers.
Well, it would appear as if those practices have fully evolved, and there are now a lot more do’s than don’ts for Condé Nast editorial team members. Historically, Condé has hired contractors and freelancers to create native ads, but they were seeking better audience development and visitor engagement for their advertisers.
While native advertising is nothing new – many will recognize by its original name, advertorial – Condé just ran its first company-wide sponsored content in April of 2014. Native is not without its controversy, but the debate is shaped more by labeling standards and editorial involvement. Condé is diving headlong into that debate with the establishment of 23 Stories.
Condé Nast brands include Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Brides, Self, GQ, The New Yorker, Condé Nast Traveler, Details, Allure, Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, Epicurious, Wired, W, Lucky, Golf Digest, Golf World, Teen Vogue, Ars Technica and Style.com.
With a self-reported 115 million consumers across those brands, Condé currently ranks #1 among “affluent millennials,” defined as age 18-34 with a household income topping $100,000, according to comScore. The publisher reaches 77 million upscale consumers across its digital, mobile, and video platforms, accompanied by an equally affluent print audience of 51 million. CNÉ, meanwhile, has tallied more than 2 billion views in less than two years.
What do you think of the native ad involvement of Condé Nast editorial? Are they going too far, or are all bets off? Let us know in the comments!
To read more about Conde Nast editorial crafting ads, visit WSJ.com.