Vogue’s thin September issue (727 ad pages) comes with a bonus crossover feature for advertisers: a new online site called ShopVogue.TV where users can search through all the ads in the magazine (by brand, trend, designer, or price), learn more about the products, and click through to retailers’ sites to buy them. The site also features some video documentaries (the “making of” the ads, “60 Seconds to Chic,” and other multi-part series), as well as a user-gen area, but given that ads seem to be what Vogue and Vogue readers groove on, the popular part of the site will probably be the ad catalogue.
The site takes an annoyingly long time to load, but it’s slick and also reasonably easy to use. Advertisers seem stoked about the idea, and it’s not hard to see why: A quick browse online, and the user learns a heck of a lot more about the product than could ever be gleaned from a magazine ad.
According to the New York Times, Vogue expects the site to draw 500,000 users in the first few months. The site wants to be viewed as entertainment, not advertorial, and the company’s PR folks are therefore religious about referring to it as a “channel” instead of a “site” (They said it enough around Times reporter Maria Aspan, for example, that she now calls it a “channel,” too).
Vogue publisher Conde Nast has struggled with its online business. Although it is way too early to declare ShopVogue.TV a success, it seems a far more intelligent use of the web’s capabilities than earlier Vogue sites (ShopVogue.com, for example) as well as those of many other magazines.