Inside the Daily Candy

One of the more highly prized and costly (from a CPM standpoint) e-mail newsletters is The Daily Candy. Positioned as a guide to what's cool before anyone else knows its cool, The Daily Candy's look and feel is feminine and stylized with watercolor caricatures gracing every issue. It is also segmented by city, giving the what's cool guide to places such as New York, San Francisco, Boston, etc. and you subscribe to each city separately.

And according to agency folks I've talked to, The Daily Candy is expensive to advertise in but worth it, with high click-throughs and strong return on investment (ROI). The Daily Candy is so lucrative, that Bob Pittman of AOL fame purchased the company for $3.5 million dollars a few years ago.

The Daily Candy seems to have two sources of advertising revenue: paid links that appear in the daily city editions and what they call "Dedicated E-mails" which are advertorials sent out by themselves. The links that appear in the main editorial content of the non-dedicated e-mails are not paid for so that should the Daily Candy spotlight shine your way, it can be like making Oprah's Booklist.



I thought it would be interesting to take a look at which companies purchased the dedicated e-mails over the last year to see if we can see a trend on what's working and what's not for the Daily Candy advertisers.

Without a doubt, the cosmetics category, as one might suppose, carries the day as far as volume of dedicated e-mails purchased goes. And within that category, Lancome is the most frequent of all of The Daily Candy's advertisers. Lancome purchased dedicated e-mails nearly every month in 2004 and 2005. Other brands in this category that have tried out The Daily Candy include Bobbi Brown, Garnier, and H2O Plus.

The personal care category is a close second with Hydroderm taking the lead in 2005 and followed by Neutrogena, Boscia,, and Kiehls.

In the publishing category, The South Beach Diet, as might be expected, takes the lead. But even the Grey (not so Grey anymore) Lady, The New York Times got in the act to promote their Great Gadget Sweepstakes back in November.

Citibank used The Daily Candy to promote their Diamond Preferred Rewards Card twice in December and again in January.

So far, cosmetics, personal care, diamond credit cards... that all makes sense. But the one that still has me scratching my head is the dedicated emails for Jeep. JEEP! What happened to the rugged all-male vehicle I used to lust for after seeing "Daktari"? Well according to the Jeep ad, that's all gone: "You know your city like the back of your hand: Where to score the best mocha latte. How to beat Main Street traffic. Which waiter to flirt with for free dessert. In sum, you get around. (In the best possible way, of course.) So why aren't you driving a Jeep® vehicle?" Man, I never get any free desserts. Guess that's why I'm driving a Toyota Rav 4!

The rest are a mixed bag: CBS promoting a new reality series, Volvo, Nokia phones, "The Terminal" starring Tom Hanks, the Spiegel catalog, HP promoting printable Tattoos, a jewelry e-commerce site, the Sylk Cream beverage, and Polaroid.

For me, the interesting thing is why iVillage, who used to own this space, hasn't produced their own daily candy. Maybe it's time for them to start following the gingerbread crumbs.

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