When it comes to Academy Awards after parties, Vanity Fair remains the “golden ticket” in more ways than one.
Only the elite can hope to gain access to the coveted event and rub shoulders with A-list celebs and power brokers. But even industry leaders across business, entertainment and fashion aren’t guaranteed they’ll get an invite.
Those who want in had better advertise in the Condé Nast-owned glossy—and by “advertise,” the understanding is to buy at least a page in every issue for the year. Another way to get in is to become pals with editor in chief Graydon Carter. One year, he gave Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller 10 tickets to disseminate among friends. On second thought, maybe advertising is easier.
Most major advertisers are shelling out millions to be part of the Vanity Fair world. To get into the party, clients are committing at least a year of ad spend. Drilling deeper, one ad page in the magazine costs in the neighborhood of $50,000 to $60,000. Multiply that by 12 months, and the total is north of half-a-million dollars.
Sources said advertisers would have to spend at least $1 million, and many of the bigger advertisers purchase multipage spreads over the course of a year. With roughly 30 to 40 clients scoring invites, the endeavor becomes lucrative, to say the least. One insider said the magazine makes 75 to 80 percent of its revenue for the year from the party, despite the fact that the title foots the bill for its guests’ hotel, airfare and other goodies.
Sources estimated the cost of the party, which includes a private preshow dinner and an Oscars screening, is roughly $2 million. Leading up to the Oscars, the title rakes in more cash or ad commitments through smaller pre-Oscars parties that it throws the week leading up to the big bash. One example is a pre-party that Vanity Fair’s business side threw with Bulgari.
This cosponsorship model is common among media outlets. InStyle, for example, partners with Warner Bros. for its Golden Globes soirée. That party costs about $2 million, but InStyle splits the cost with the studio, an insider source said. InStyle also maximizes its relationships with sponsors like Godiva, which provides sweets at the after party—and it also has a more lax invite policy. All advertisers are welcomed.
“It’s more democratic,” the insider said. But in the world of parties, democracy is a turn off.
Both Vanity Fair and InStyle declined to comment on the cost of their respective parties.