CondéNet Debuts Ads for Style.com

Advance Publications’ CondéNet division is debuting a new ad campaign for Web site Style.com — though it’s bound to be a tricky sell.

The New York-based site, which is associated with Advance’s Vogue and W magazines, follows the trend started by the publisher’s other Web sites — such as Epicurious.com, which serves as the site for Bon Apetit and Gourmet — in establishing a new online brand different and independent from the magazines it represents.

But in doing so, CondéNet (a unit of Advance’s Condé Nast division) is choosing to side-step the considerable brand equity of Vogue — which has had a Web presence of its own since 1999, since rolled into Style.com — with a new site that not only incorporates content from W and Vogue, but e-commerce opportunities tied into products that appear in the magazines.

The danger in creating this type of umbrella brand, of course, are well illustrated by Time Warner’s disastrous Pathfinder experience, which concluded in the publishing giant dismantling the overarching Pathfinder site in favor of running separate sites for each magazine property. One advantage CondéNet has, though, is that the brands it’s pushing together at least cover similar subject areas. Still, it has a big job on its hands.

That’s where the ad push comes in. The campaign, created by New York-based boutique Badger Kry & Partners, positions Style.com — which actually launched last September in a toned-down version, and recently introduced e-commerce elements — as a source for all that is fashion.

Titled “Runways are Everywhere,” the campaign seeks to convey the relevancy of high-end fashion to the real-life woman. Creatives, which feature model Caroline Ribeiro, show trendily dressed women walking to work, doing the laundry, and so on.

“The campaign’s objective is to introduce the brand to consumers nationwide and communicate our dedication to providing users with a comprehensive fashion experience,” said Goli Sheikholeslami, managing director of Style.com, which includes features such as live coverage of the major runway shows worldwide. “Our national advertising campaign will further our leadership position as today’s foremost fashion resource and online shopping destination, while expanding our reach to an even broader audience of fashion-forward, affluent women.”

The ads will appear in major Advance publications, including Vogue, W, Vanity Fair, Glamour and Allure. Other media buys include regional, socializing-focused publications like Time Out New York, Hamptons Magazine, Chicago Social and Ocean Drive, none of which are owned by Advance.

In addition to print executions, the company said it plans outdoor, direct mail and Web and email campaigns, incorporating aspects of the print executions.

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