VOGUE’S SUPER NIGHT: Other than Eli Manning and the Giants, the other big winners on Super Bowl Sunday turned out to be Anna Wintour and Condé Nast.
Madonna began her halftime performance Sunday night with her 1990 hit “Vogue.” Two minutes into her performance, an overhead camera revealed that her dance floor had turned into a free advertisement for the Condé Nast magazine. Madonna was dancing atop a lit-up Vogue logo. Just below her flashed computer-generated panels featuring first the logo and then a series of fashion photos that looked like they came straight from the pages of the magazine. It was hard to miss, but there was one lingering question during the performance: How did the halftime show get the rights to Vogue’s logo?
This story first appeared in the February 7, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
It turns out this had been coordinated for some time. Madonna’s team contacted Wintour and the magazine in early January. Vogue, which has a long-standing relationship with the pop icon, immediately cooperated and authorized the use of its trademark. There was no charge.
“We’re so very grateful to Madonna to have been part of such a spectacular performance,” Wintour said, not surprisingly — when does a magazine get free publicity in front of 100 million TV viewers? As Wintour said, “We naturally expect a new audience of football fans.”
The executives at 4 Times Square will likely be just as giddy. Over the last two years, Condé Nast has gone on an aggressive initiative to find licensing deals. Just last week, HSN launched Bon Appétit-branded cookware and appliances, something that just a few years ago would have been unheard of at Condé. Now, with Condé Nast’s newfound ethos in emphasizing the bottom line above all else, HSN deals are sought after and celebrated.
But it will be hard to beat the brief exposure Vogue got Sunday night. Now, no doubt, every magazine out there is trying to figure out how to get its name into a hit song.