Forget digital subscriptions. Magazine publishers channel TV execs in latest iPad push
Have you ever wished you could pause a TV show, highlight a character on the screen and go through his or her wardrobe item by item and maybe purchase an item or two? Yeah, us neither. That’s not stopping Conde Nast, publishers of Glamour, though from casting an original TV-like series for iPad users that allows viewers to do just that.
According to New York Times, the iPad series is called “Glamour Girls” that “allows viewers to pause the program and buy clothing worn by the characters, directly from Gap.com.” There are already four episodes in the can. Here’s the explanation:
The magazine’s associate publisher, Leslie Russo, described as “‘Mary Tyler Moore’ meets ‘The Hills.’” The show chronicles the careers of four women: Sarah, an event planner for Glamour, Jenna, a photographer’s agent, and Anda and Masha, a pair of stylists.
Well, Conde Nast is pretty excited about this new venture, even affirming they believe they’ve “cracked the code” with this idea. It involves original content, touch-screen commerce, fashion and the iPad. A winning formula (our words, not theirs). Okay, maybe we’re getting a bit carried away. The app has a pretty limited distribution of 4,600 users compared to the 2 million-plus readers of the magazine. And we’ve seen some ventures like this before for the iPad that seem to go dark even before they get started. Remember Ralph Lauren’s RL Gang for kids? No? Well, it’s getting a makeover this Spring in the form of Uma Thurman as narrator.
What may have been the most successful (and we use that term loosely) interactive fashion-inspired initiative was the Old Navy tie-up with games developer Crowdstar late last year with It Girl. We were a bit skeptical about it when we wrote about it back in November only because of the blatantly aggressive shop-til-you-drop marketing message It Girl pounded in to young girls in their daily quest to achieve unquestioned Hotness. But Old Navy succeeded in tapping in to one of the hottest social games on Facebook (now nearing 10 million users; up from 5.5 million in late November) and the games critics loved it too.
It’s early yet, but producing TV-like episodes for the iPad just don’t compare with the bang you get from social gaming. Conde Nast may learn this one the hard way.