Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Fashioning February: The Glossy Reality

I don't know about you but I was rather upset when The City ended as it meant that my weekly fix of the lives of glam media girls was over. Who was not riveted by the arguments between Olivia and Erin at US Elle magazine? Despite all the drama that went on in the show, Elle's appearance in the spin off to The Hills rewarded them with hours of free publicity. Having a presence on TV, preferably a fashion related reality show is an essential marketing tool and something that magazine publishers are now considering as part of their marketing mix. Remember the Elle and Project Runway partnership which eventually became Marie Claire and Project Runway after Nina Garcia ousting from Elle and eventual appointment to Marie Claire. Ironically both publications got in on the action by launching their own reality shows; in 2009 we saw Stylista where a group of fashionistas competed for a job at Elle and the next year the staff of Marie Claire along with three wannabees starred in Running in Heels. However before that we had the now defunct Jane trying out potential writers in The Fashionista Diaries before they folded and Cosmo Girl stepped in to save the day. In actual fact the reality show and magazine hybrid only kicked off with The Hills when a certain Lauren Conrad landed an internship at Teen Vogue to go along with her new life in LA. So no surprise then to hear that Teen Vogue are in the midst of making their own reality show about life at the magazine. With Erin Kaplan now on board at the publication after bidding US Elle goodbye and working alongside the media friendly, Amy Astley it certainly would make superb viewing. To top it off the show will be directed by non other than R.J. Cutler who made the ever so successful film, The September Issue which is about the life of Anna. Wintour who really needs no introduction.
It really is amazing the way magazines have thrown open their doors to the cameras but what are the reasons for this? A reality show is all about extending the brand and broadening the magazine audience - basically exposure and product placement. A show about a magazine will feature close ups of the brand logo, computer screens displaying their website and more importantly we get to see the journalists at work discussing ideas and implementing them. This definitely gets the audience interested, I remember when US Marie Claire did a fashion shoot on three savvy business women which involved them traveling through New York in a caravan, it got me really intrigued that when the publication hit the stands I bought the issue and I never had anytime for US Marie Claire. Add that to an insight into the writer's personal lives and you have a very dynamic situation. The fact is television is an extremely powerful medium. Look at Elle - they have had cameras in their offices since 2004 with Project Runway. Stylista and the The City. Also the huge success of The Devil Wear Prada meant that every editor of a glossy magazine were inundated with offers of a reality show. With magazine sales declining rapidly due to the digital revolution it looks like magazines might be relying on TV to save them. Who would have thought it eh?

2 cool comments:

Keianna Johnson (KeeKeeAllNatural) said...

WOW! Your blog is HOT! I like everything about it. Very unique.

Katie said...

agree, i loved The City for its look at fashion mags. Was sad to hear that lauren's new reality show was recently dropped by MTV because they thought it wasn't suitable for their audience - it wasn't as personal, & more about her life & career in fashion - HEY, THAT'S what we wanted to see mtv!!!