Every print publisher, and especially the glossies, want in on the online-video game. Unlike the text-and-photos Web, where there are more pageviews than media buyers know what to do with, there's not enough slickly packaged content that big brands deem safe enough to advertise themselves on. Condé Nast's Vogue has a new reality show for the Web, Model.Live, which "tracks three models as they navigate casting calls, catwalks and airports for fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris." It debuts August 19. What you won't see? Drinking and smoking. What you will see? Eating disorders confronted "head-on." That's because this an attempt to reach out to a younger demographic on behalf of the sponsor, aspirational mall brand Express — which sells American women the sequined, screen-printed jeans they love. What's all this going to cost Express?
The stated budget for the series of twelve episodes is $3 million, and the magazine, along with production partner IMG, will guarantee 83.4 million video views on social network Bebo alone — which works out to $35 per thousand, plus whatever Vogue takes off the top. The show will also be distributed on Hulu and Veoh, and on Vogue's online video outlet Vogue.tv, so any views over and above the Bebo number brings the CPM, or cost per thousand views, down for Express.
As one fashionista friend remarked, you wouldn't think Vogue would even let Express advertise in the magazine. Trendy knockoff retailer H&M would seem the better fit. But then I'll be getting enough product placement from the new season of Project Runway.