Are Media made a slew of new announcements, new launches and a big return at its upfront, Ignite 2023, on Friday at The Art Gallery of New South Wales’ recently opened North Building.
Are Media unveiled its strategy to transform the company into an omnichannel content commerce powerhouse.
Key elements of the strategy, which was revealed at an event for nearly 200 marketers and media agency partners at the Art Gallery of NSW, include a new digital destination and content commerce hub for The Australian Women’s Weekly, a new Home Beautiful digital marketplace, and the creation of 10 million first-party data connection points by 2024: offering niche insights into valuable high intention audiences.
Are Media also announced the return of the print edition of ELLE magazine – a title for stylish, creative young women – and introduced its new positioning: Where connection ignites intention.
Are Media chief executive officer, Jane Huxley, said the transformation of the company was built on its powerful content and brands that attract “audiences of intention”.
“Our omnichannel brands have never been more important: a deep read in print, a quick browse online, or a snack on social. Content and brands are providing connection like they never have before. And we know more about our audiences than ever before. The age of data is well and truly upon us. We dive deeply into data daily so we can meet our readers where they are and give them what they need at any time,” she said.
“What we know about our audiences is that they come to us with more intention than ever. They are looking for content to inform what they do and what they buy. They are looking for beauty advice, money advice, retirement planning, travel, recipes to cook – and they have the highest intention of all, which is to do something next.”
Huxley said the new positioning, Where connection ignites intention, signals Are Media’s strength and future.
“Our brands have influence, and that influence drives intent with our audiences. They will take action after they consume content, particularly if it’s from a trusted brand like marie claire, beautyheaven, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Home Beautiful or our other market-leading titles,” she said.
“Our business models are aggressively evolving to map closer to the intention of our audiences, as we have begun to expand our offering in video, lead generation, affiliate marketing, marketplace, licensing and merchandising.”
Andrew Cook, Are Media director of sales, said the company’s content and the engaged audiences that consume it across lifestyle, beauty and home brands offer advertisers an opportunity to connect with audiences across the funnel.
“Our omnichannel brands deliver trust, authority and influence across every stage of the marketing funnel,” he said.
“We have a proven ability to deliver strong results at the top to middle end of the funnel – driving active awareness, deep consideration, intent and evaluation – using our trusted brand voice, our influence and that powerful connection we have with our audiences. A lot of hard work has gone into our capability at the bottom end of the funnel.
“We can now fill the funnel from brand awareness through to action and advocacy, helping our advertising partners close the loop,” Cook said.
“Consider the opportunity for a brand to tap into Are Media’s whole of business offering – from events, shoppable media and content, in-store connection at retail and product sampling to new parents through our Bounty Bags to beauty reviews, product licensing and custom books. We can even warehouse and fullfill products through Are Direct. All of this supported by our research, data and targeting capabilities along with our custom content and creative solutions services,” he said.
“It’s simple: leverage our relationships with your customers. Our brands have spent years building the type of trust that can turn customers into fans, and that’s a very powerful thing,” Cook added.
The Australian Women’s Weekly and Home Beautiful launch new websites
The Australian Women’s Weekly and Home Beautiful will launch new stand-alone websites, formerly part of the Now to Love online entertainment centre.
The new website offers a premium lifestyle experience for users and will boost the brand for content commerce.
The Australian Women’s Weekly has created a digital product that works to educate and inspire women to live their best lives, with content delivered when and where they want it.
The new digital destination is live now, and the key elements include news, the Royals, lifestyle, health, beauty, money and travel.
Nicole Byers, Are Media general manager – Lifestyle, said: “womensweekly.com.au will not only grow and deepen the connection we have with our existing audience of over 2.4 million, it will also enable us to reach and inspire a new cohort of Australian women who value quality content.
“It will provide trusted advice on everything from financial planning and travel to health and beauty, as well as The Weekly’s trademark interviews and in-depth investigations. The site will not only be a platform for information; it will provide a community for Australian women who want to find out more about the things that matter most to them with content that aligns to the values and standards they have come to expect from The Australian Women’s Weekly brand.”
The new website is a strong complement to the dedicated food site womensweeklyfood.com.au, which is home to 14,000 triple-tested recipes.
The Australian Women’s Weekly marketplace is also set to launch later in 2023 with products specially curated by The Weekly team.
Are Media has also announced that a fully integrated e-commerce marketplace for the Home Beautiful consumer will launch in 2024.
The marketplace will be a new addition to the standalone Home Beautiful website launched in July.
Elle Lovelock, editor in chief, Home Beautiful, said: “We know our Home Beautiful audiences love to shop and the new marketplace is set to ignite purchase intent across active home decorators and shoppers. We are excited to complete this thriving ecosystem, offering the next logical step for consumers and through the funnel opportunities for advertisers.”
As part of Are Media’s digital strategy, its portfolio of 15 websites will be moved to new platforms for optimised user experience, streamlined content creation and content commerce by mid-2024.
All of Are Media’s websites support the full digital advertising ecosystem, from sponsorships and rich media display to commercial content, social media, e-commerce, video and EDM solutions.
Nicole Byers in conversation with Christine Holgate and Ronni Kahn, AO
Nicole Byers took to the stage to lead a panel discussion with Toll Global Express CEO Christine Holgate and OzHarvest CEO and founder Ronni Kahn AO to discuss how they have each overcome hardship.
The audience saw a full circle moment as Holgate shared that at her lowest point, she had a Ronni Kahn spoon that reminded her of Kahn’s strength and that kept her going.
Kahn explained that the significance of the teaspoon is based on a quote from an Israeli author who said that in the event of a massive fire: “You can run away, you can write an angry letter demanding the perpetrators get punished, or you can go and get a bucket. If you can’t find a bucket get a jug, if you can’t get a jug, get a cup. If you can’t get a cup, get a teaspoon.”
At the end of the inspirational panel, Kahn generously gave away a spoon to a member of the audience.
ELLE Australia print magazine returns in 2024
ELLE Australia will make its comeback in 2024 as a print magazine. With 45 global editions, ELLE is one of the world’s largest fashion brands, with 37 million social media followers and 70 million unique browsers internationally.
Are Media will publish two editions of ELLE Australia next year (autumn/winter in March and spring/summer in September), growing to four editions in 2025.
The decision to revive the print product after a three-year absence follows the success of ELLE.com.au, which has an average of 270,000 unique visitors and 530,000 page views a month, reaching a total Australian audience of over 1.4 million across all touch points. On social, ELLE has 749,000 followers on Facebook, 302,000 on Instagram and a fast-growing TikTok channel.
Nicky Briger, Are Media general manager – Fashion and Beauty, said: “ELLE is the fashion bible for Gen Z and millennial smart, savvy, stylish women who love to shop. They’re keen early adopters and what to be first to know everything so they can share that knowledge with their friends. With that in mind, ELLE brings them the now, new and next in fashion, beauty and lifestyle, but it’s also at the centre of the cultural conversation, bringing them everything from news, views and entertainment to social issues and politics.”
“Print is seeing a resurgence globally, especially in the luxury and fashion space, so we’re thrilled to be bringing back the much-loved magazine – something tangible to have, hold, read and leaf through.
“Over the past three years, ELLE.com.au has become Australia’s premium digital destination for the style shopper and trend setter. Leveraging our signature smart, trusted voice, ELLE.com.au blends editorial engagement with style, knowledge and authority to offer guidance and advice, all with a strong point of view. And now it’s time to give her more!,” she said.
“Because the ELLE reader is highly social, active, success-driven and considers herself a leader in her world, the magazine will reflect that with six key content pillars, from spectacular fashion, beauty and shopping to lifestyle, culture and water-cooler zeitgeist reads,” Briger added.
Naomi Smith and Sally Hunwick have been appointed the brand’s Fashion and Beauty directors respectively. Both have four decades of experience between them, having worked for multiple luxury brands, including Vogue, Harper’s BAZAAR, ELLE and marie claire throughout their careers. Naomi and Sally will work across ELLE and marie claire. The ELLE editor will be announced in the coming week.
The return of ELLE magazine strengthens Are Media’s fashion and beauty portfolio, which includes marie claire and Girlfriend.
Nicky Briger chats with Bruna Papandrea and Jodi Matterson
After announcing the return of ELLE Australia, Nicky Briger led a panel discussion with Australian film and TV producers Bruna Papandrea and Jodi Matterson. The trio discussed the history of their production company, Made Up Stories, and how they tell women’s stories.
Bruna noted that the projects she’s the most proud of are the ones that took ages “because we didn’t give up”. She added: “Australian women do so well internationally because we don’t wait for someone to tell us we can do it, we just do it.”
Reflecting on their work and success achieved so far, Matterson shared: “We have so many great moments, but because we’re always so focused on what’s next, we never stop to look at what we’ve achieved.”
Susan Armstrong with Matildas star Courtnee Vine
Also taking to the stage was Are Media’s general manager of entertainment Susan Armstrong in conversation with Matildas star Courtnee Vine. They discussed the Matildas’ recent efforts at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, being part of a strong team, and what’s next.
Launch of Social Currency Playbook study
Are Media announced the launch of the Social Currency Playbook, Are Media’s flagship thought leadership study for 2023.
The study found pace and proliferation, post-truth and misinformation, privacy protection, and integrity and governance are the four major forces framing evolution in the world of women’s content on social media.
Completed in partnership with Australia’s leading cultural insights agency, The Lab, the research gives brands the power to create compelling content across all social platforms with emerging trends identified. The Playbook is designed to provide practical insights for brands looking to drive connection, attention, and ignite intention with women across social media including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest.
It includes insights on how to connect with women in nine key content areas from fashion and beauty to homes and interiors, plus light-hearted content that makes women feel good – something they highly value.
Natalie Bettini, Are Media’s head of research, said: “Women are favouring vulnerability and authenticity over unachievable, aspirational images and videos. TikTok and BeReal have altered expectations around how we ‘show up’ and share parts of ourselves online. Understanding how to connect with women across social platforms is now mandatory for brands looking to drive growth, and as the experts in understanding women, we’re very proud of the insights the Social Currency Playbook provides.
“At Are Media, we are prioritising short-form visual content to ensure compelling visual storytelling leaning on imagery, video and infographics over text. We are also being creative with how to reimagine long-form content within the confines of the Instagram grid.
“Most excitingly, the Social Currency Playbook is fully aligned with our own content commerce strategy. The project found new parameters of how social media consumption blurs the lines between ecommerce, marketplaces and live shopping,” she said.
Andrew Cook, Are Media director of sales, said: “To connect with someone, you need to understand them truly, fully and deeply. Are Media is globally recognised for our market-leading research on women. In 2024, we will undertake one of our largest pieces of research work to date.
“This will be a project that demonstrates ‘how she shops’. The study will provide insights into how to connect with female audiences of intent. The study is set to explore the different touchpoints in the consumer journey and the role of different types of advertising, content, media and platforms on driving purchase decisions. This will add to our library of over 50 pieces of research about women, more than any other media owner in Australia.”
Are Media recently announced its expanded partnership with market research company Roy Morgan to gather worldwide audience insights from its social media channels that are currently not available anywhere else.
Under the partnership, Are Media’s social media audiences across Instagram, Facebook and other social platforms will be included in Roy Morgan’s official Single Source database, giving advertisers a more accurate profile of its social audience, to deliver commercially driven social campaigns that engage the right audience.