Elle and Yahoo team up for fashion week coverage

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Hachette Filipacchi Media's Elle magazine has teamed up with Yahoo to create a mobile site dedicated to Fashion Week.

The site will be accessible through Yahoo oneSearch, Elle Mobile and text starting with New York Fashion Week September 5th. The service will continue through Fashion Weeks in Milan and Paris.

"It's a very simple proposition, really," Olivier Griot, managing director of mobile at Hachette Filipacchi, said of the new site. "We have built mobile Internet sites - Elle Mobile is one of these sites - and our goal is to aggregate an audience on Elle Mobile to generate page views and bring unique users to these destinations. And in the same way as we do on the regular Internet, we want to be able to sell this audience to advertisers."

Elle's coverage of Fashion Week will include runway reviews, trend watches, fashion blogs "Street Chic," featuring parties and people and "Style Scout," photo diaries from eight young designers preparing for the week.

Advertisers can buy banner ads on the Fashion Week site. Griot said that company focused on selling dial-in campaigns, where a user clicks on a banner ad and is transferred directly to a call center. Elle sites also occasionally sell direct subscriber lines on a sponsorship basis.

Griot says the publisher is marketing the site mainly in two ways: direct marketing to customers and partners."

Griot's direct marketing includes Elle's promotion of the Fashion Week site in the current print edition of its magazine with ads and editorial mentions. Banner ads and buttons for the service are on the Elle Web site, and e-mail newsletters sent to Elle customers have played up the mobile fashion coverage.

The company has been working with partners, including cell phone carrier Sprint, to drive traffic to the site with special promotions.

"Yahoo has been a critical partner," said Griot. "They are promoting this offering through their platforms, one of the most visible being the Yahoo billboard in Times Square."

The Yahoo billboard entreats viewers to text æfashion' to the Yahoo code, which will bring them to the fashion week site. Yahoo is also running a banner ad for the mobile site. Yahoo oneSearch pulls up the Fashion Week site as a search result for the word æfashion' and other related terms.

"They're offering this co-branded coverage," said Griot. "It's almost a case study in different ways of communicating to the public what they can do on their phones."

The Elle Mobile and Yahoo oneSearch sites also link directly to Yahoo's New York City Guide. Company execs hope that people visiting the city for fashion week will be driven to use the service to find bars, nightclubs and restaurants after the day's events.

The service is free and accessible through most mobile service providers. Wallpapers, ringtones and other extensions of the site are possibilities, but Griot said the main focus would be to entice new users to the Elle Mobile homepage.

Elle, published by Hachette Filipacchi Media US, has four other active mobile services: Elle Mobile, Ellegirl Mobile, Car and Driver Mobile and Premiere Mobile. The company publishes 39 different editions of Elle magazine on five continents.

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