CondeNet Launches $20 Million Ad Blitz for Sites

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CondeNet, a division of Conde Nast owner Advance Publications Inc., has launched concurrent ad campaigns to raise the profile of its four women-oriented Web sites.


The integrated marketing effort, valued at $20 million, combines online and off-line media and will continue through yearend to create brand identities for Epicurious.com, Phys.com, Concierge.com, and Swoon.com.


"We want to clearly brand and position each of our sites … to reach new and current consumers," said Hilary Peck, marketing director of CondeNet.


Agencies have already been named to the respective accounts. Margeotes, Fertitta and Partners, New York, has the $10.5 million Epicurious.com account, while Venice, CA, shop Robaire and Hogshead has been assigned Phys.com and Concierge.com, valued at $3.5 million and $5.1 million respectively. At $1.25 million, Swoon.com will be handled in-house.


CIA/VSM, which claims to be the world's second largest independent media specialist, will plan and buy media for Phys.com, Concierge.com and Swoon.com. Margeotes, Fertitta will handle media for Epicurious.com.


The effort kicked off late last month with a national cable TV push for Phys.com, a health and fitness service that targets women 18 to 34 years old. Ads in newspapers and the September issue of Conde Nast title Vogue broke this month.


Concierge.com and Swoon.com follow similar marketing plans. A new travel site launched this month, Concierge.com's creative will run in magazines, newspapers, radio and possibly outdoor. Creative for Swoon.com, which is about relationships, breaks in newspapers, magazines and other Conde Nast titles as well as advertising post card racks.


The Epicurious campaign breaks in early September, encompassing TV, print placements in Conde Nast titles and other non-company magazines, newspapers, and possibly radio and outdoor. Touted as the largest site dedicated to food and drink, Epicurious will support e-commerce possibly by September in a shopping partnership with Williams-Sonoma.


Tabletop products and house wares will be sold on the site. For instance, a visitor reading a recipe will be directed to a pan or kitchen tool that aids in its preparation. This appliance can then be ordered and bought off the site.


All the campaigns will run on the Internet, Peck added. Deals have been struck with major sites and portals, including Yahoo and America Online, she said.


'The strategy of the campaign is to surround the consumer … the whole Internet environment in the fourth quarter [of this year] is going to be very cluttered and we want to put a very clear brand image in position," said Peck.


"We're applying and adapting some traditional marketing principles of consumer branding to a wholly new set of consumer products and services."
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