MARIE CLAIRE GOES POP: Taking cues from European magazines, the editors of Marie Claire have launched its first pop-up magazine, which hits the streets of New York today. Called Branché, which loosely translates to “plugged in” in French, the magazine will be distributed by Hearst employees on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday of next week. Staffers will disseminate 30,000 total copies in well-trafficked areas of New York such as Times Square, as well as in trendy neighborhoods such as SoHo and Williamsburg in Brooklyn.
This story first appeared in the March 13, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We see this as a younger sister of Marie Claire,” editor in chief of Marie Claire Anne Fulenwider said as she flipped through the pages of Branché, which displays a wide-eyed Alexa Chung on its matte cover. Excluding front and back covers, the 40-page magazine is comprised of 20 ad pages and 20 edit pages, and it’s similar to BlackBook magazine, insofar as it’s an insider’s guide to New York style, culture and food and nighttime hot spots.
According to Marie Claire vice president, publisher and chief revenue officer Nancy Berger Cardone, Branché is paid for by the advertisers, meaning it didn’t cost Marie Claire or parent company Hearst a dime to produce. Advertisers in the launch issue include H&M, Guess, Macy’s, Giuseppe Zanotti, Seiko and Amazon Fashion.
“It’s a brand extension,” Cardone said, explaining that the business model, which is “successful in Europe,” has never been attempted by Hearst to date.
Although they don’t have feedback yet, Cardone and Fulenwider are already planning a second edition of Branché, which will hit in early fall.
But speaking of feedback, readers can weigh in via an online survey at marieclaire.com/branche, or they can interact with Marie Claire staff, all of whom will be publicizing the magazine via Twitter, Facebookand Instagram.
Another way to measure feedback is whether there is demand for more issues to be printed.
“We wanted it to be a bit like ‘Brigadoon,’” Fulenwider said, chuckling at her own geeky reference to the magazine’s fleeting nature.
Reformulating the analogy, she offered: “We wanted it to be like dating, you don’t want to give it all up on the first date.”