Odwalla Leads Launch of Say Media’s Gardenista

Say Media today launched a new site to expand its inventory of content attracting design-conscious readers. Gardenista is an extension of the company’s Remodelista site that will cover everything from edible and sustainable rooftop gardening to backyard entertaining and outdoor design. Former New York Times columnist Michelle Slatalla will edit the site, and natural juice maker Odwalla is the launch partner.

In the engagement, which runs through June, Odwalla will have all of Gardenista’s ad inventory, and it also is running brand ads running across other sites in Say’s Living and Food channels. In addition to a large, rich-media ad on each page of Gardenista, Odwalla has custom editorial content that includes a series of videos and tutorials by Slatalla to promote urban gardening.

gardenista-odwalla“We think the special video content will be cool and compelling,” said Odwalla spokesperson Susan Stribling. “It will look at how to create a vertical garden. It’s a way to be creative in a small space and fits with the ‘goodness grows here’ theme.” There will be Odwalla branding before and after the video content.

Troy Young, president of Say Media, said, “We’re doing more and more with brands where we give them 100 percent share of voice plus reach across our properties. They get a combination of deep connection to an amazing site plus the reach we can provide across the network.”

Odwalla will use Gardenista to spread the “Goodness grows here” campaign, created collaboratively by 360i, Starcom MediaVest Group, Hatch Design Studio, LeadDog Marketing Group and Fast Horse.

The Gardenista campaign is just one component of Odwalla’s new branding initiative aimed at people 18 to 34, which launched the week of May 14. The campaign spans digital, social, mobile, out-of-home, print and public relations. The Odwalla website got a makeover, while Odwalla’s Facebook page offers uplifting tips and suggestions for daily good deeds, bolstered by paid Facebook media.

Odwalla is also launch partner for National Geographic’s “Good Traveler” blog and sponsor of its new “Travel Favorites” online social hub. The beverage company also will sponsor adventure experiences from social commerce firm LivingSocial. An email campaign will reach out to consumers every 30 to 45 days, offering details of Odwalla’s “goodness” efforts.

While Say Media’s Remodelista site already covers gardening, Young said, “It’s a distinct category that people wanted more focus around. We did research with our user base and the number one thing they said was they wanted more gardening content.” He suggested that gardening is on fire, even among urbanites, fueled by new brands and product launches.Young said the site will appeal to high-end marketers such as financial institutions. He said, “This is more about an audience that’s well-heeled and sophisticated. This is the kind of audience that Odwalla wants to attract.”

Say Media has been on an acquisition spree, acquiring Dogster, Catster and ReadWriteWeb in 2011. It also bought digital agency Sideshow to redesign and develop its properties.

The company’s strategy is to bring its various content properties into a more brand-friendly format that also helps editors to promote their most valuable content and advertisers to track engagement.

In April, Say launched a cost-per-exposure pricing model. On its sites, large display ads in the right-hand column travel down the page as a reader scrolls through editorial. Previously, it used a cost-per-engagement model in which advertisers were charged when users clicked or hovered to expand an ad.

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