That’s the bet that fashion, luxury and lifestyle magazine publisher Condé Nast is making with the launch of 23 Stories, a new branded content studio that will help its advertising clients engage consumers, especially in the coveted millennial demographic, by tapping into the expertise of the publisher’s own editorial teams.
Headed by Pat Connolly, Condé Nast Media Group’s vice president for marketing solutions, the new in-house studio includes a video development and production team. It draws on editorial talent from across the Media Group, as well as production know-how from Condé Nast Entertainment, formed in 2013 to bolster its video offerings.
This new organizational structure marks a major shift for the publisher, which until now has maintained strict separation between its editorial staff and branded content producers. Content produced by 23 Stories will still be identified as sponsored messages.
Advertisers using the in-house native ad outfit will also have the benefit of Condé’s distribution, which reaches an average monthly audience of 77 million across digital, mobile and video platforms, and a total print audience of 51 million. However, 23 Stories selective. Advertisers will have to hit certain spending requirements in order to tap into the publisher’s editorial resources.
Menicheschi stated: “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. 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.”
A number of other big magazine publishers have launched, or acquired, native ad divisions recently. Earlier this month, Meredith Corp. acquired Selectable Media, which specializes in native advertising. In November, it launched a new native ad platform called “Buzz,” which integrates marketers’ native ads into contextually relevant content areas that are endemic to Meredith brands.