Vogue Australia turns 60: Print and digital combo sets new ad record

“A 60th anniversary is traditionally celebrated with diamonds”

There are five major benefits to joining Vogue Australia’s VIP program. One is a cheaper price for a subscription ($6.50 v $8.99 a copy) and another is you get the editions usually before they hit the newsstand.

That’s not always such a big deal, but in the week before the release of the doorstopper 60th anniversary edition of Vogue Australia it was.

Those readers were the first to see one of two covers that feature Nicole Kidman wearing some very exclusive and expensive diamonds.

“A 60th anniversary is traditionally celebrated with diamonds,” Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann told Mediaweek. “I felt quite passionate about finding our longest and oldest and most consistent luxury jeweler advertiser and that was Cartier who first entered the Australian market in the 1970s with a boutique in David Jones.

“They have a large fine jewelry couture collection that they show during the couture collections in July and we get to see them. They are one off pieces and can be valued at upwards of $20m. I saw a diamond necklace and ear cuffs and I approached Cartier about working with them to allow us to borrow them.

We were able to use them to shoot Nicole in New York and the diamonds had to travel from Paris specifically for the shoot.” McCann explained their time with the diamonds was shorter than they had time with Kidman. “Nicole found it quite amusing that the diamonds had to leave before she did!

A recent innovation at Vogue Australia is extra-luxe stock that greets readers at the front of the book. Last month it was a special message from Cartier and this month there are pages again from Cartier, plus Armani and Céline.

“We offered this to advertisers with this idea as an alternative to gatefolds as advertisers like running back to back pages with consecutive imagery. It is a way of standing out in the tunnel [the ad pages before the editorial starts] and it has been extremely popular.”

McCann added that some of the brand’s oldest advertisers are finding “paper tricks” very popular. “They really love thick paper stock and we also have an outside back gatefold on the new edition. We also use special stock when we want to promote something like VIP and place it in the middle of the book on thick paper because we know it works and draws attention to it.

McCann thinks people who think “print is dead” are sadly out of date. “Our VIP program is bring in new and younger readers and the take-up has well exceeded our expectations with new subscribers every day above our target.”

Advertisers are not just utilising print, as McCann explained ad growth on other platforms is up over 100% year-on-year. “The briefs we get for this are from traditional advertisers who have a significant social media presence. We will close November with our best ever result for digital ad revenue.

Vogue Australia’s print and digital audience was measured by emma at 986,000 in September this year.

Vogue Australia is almost a one-stop-agency when it comes to attracting some clients. “A good example this month is a significant campaign from Samsung for the Galaxy Fold phone. For that we brokered the talent, created the campaign which was then reverse-published with an influencer in print. We were the creative agency for the client which was published on our social platforms and then that imagery has been used in ads in the magazine.”

Vogue Australia Anniversary edition is big…how big?

• 350 pages
• Biggest book this year, one of biggest ever.
• The December edition is as heavy as Vogue Australia could go without Australia Post charging the publisher more for distribution.
• McCann explained the sales team exceeded its optimistic budget by $50,000. About 40% of the book is advertising (a Condé Nast guideline).

Vogue Australia VIP

McCann: “We have been really pleased with the take up – particularly younger people under the age of 28 who have been difficult to get to before. They understand monthly membership plans as they may already be customers for things like Spotify, Netflix or their gym. $6.50 a month seems a good price for them and the engagement they have with our EDM is exceptional with an open rate around 40%.”

McCann said many of the referrals to join were coming from Vogue’s recently relaunched website or from the greater News Corp family like news.com.au.

“Being able to work with other partners in the News Corp business has been a huge advantage in driving sign ups.”

Tomorrow: Vogue Australia celebration continues with details about the Apple News+ partnership, the Vogue Australia documentary and more.

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