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House Beautiful: A Case Study On Multiplatform Ad Campaigns

Integrated campaign uses print, social, online, tablets, live events and mobile.



By TJ Raphael
07/26/2012

House Beautiful has come a long way in its 117-year history, and the publication is now offering its advertisers more, too. Over the next year, it will be slowly rolling out a highly integrated advertising campaign, complete with print, online, tablet, social, live events and mobile media support.

To make the campaign a success, coordination between the title, the client’s advertising agency and the client itself needed to be ensured. Additionally the publication needed to create a comprehensive strategy for rolling out the campaign, pricing it and providing measurements for its success.

“It’s very important to have a great relationship with your client,” says Kate Kelly Smith, SVP, publishing director and chief revenue officer for House Beautiful. “You need to understand their business, challenges and how the consumer comes to them.”

In cooperation with paint company Valspar, and its marketing and advertising agency, House Beautiful provided an a la carte menu of sorts for an integrated advertising campaign within its print magazine and on digital platforms. There was custom in-book and video content using digital watermark technology that could be scanned with a reader’s mobile phone, in addition to face-to-face advertising support at the interior decorating event Design on the Dime.

The Valspar campaign also integrated with the cover of the May issue, and a spread in the June issue. The magazine’s website rolled out an interactive flipbook of paint options for its online visitors to promote the company. There is a sweepstakes running on Facebook, and videos from the live event will be incorporated into tablet editions and the magazine’s website.

“Everyone has to collaborate,” says Kelly Smith. “Three teams came together, if not more. Our marketing team really managed all of the Hearst components, but you have to have the teams be extremely collaborative and clear with what the goals and objectives are.”

Kelly Smith says that MPG, Valspar’s advertising agency, lead the inquiry for the paint company and worked closely with Hearst. MPG pulled in their public relations and digital agency to coordinate efforts.

The advertorials, creative and video content produced for the campaign were planned to work in lockstep with MPG. Due to the coordination, the publication was able to deliver a fast turnaround to Valspar. Kelly Smith estimates that the whole process to execute on the campaign took about 60 days from its inception.

“The ideas for the campaign really came from House Beautiful and we presented it back to them, but they gave us really strong brand objectives,” says Lisa Lachowetz, House Beautiful’s executive director of marketing. “We weren’t shooting in the dark—the client was very clear about the objectives of the campaign.”

When it comes to measuring the success of the campaign, there are several components that act as barometers. The May issue’s inner cover and opposite page had full-page Valspar advertisements. There was an ad spread in the June issue, and a cover element.

“The first measure of success is opening up the May cover,” says Kelly Smith.  “More people downloaded the Digimarc digital watermark off of that cover than ever before so we know there was tremendous engagement with that cover. To have Valspar right there is a fantastic partnership.”

For the print, Web and social components, the magazine shared the number of single copy sales, subscriptions and total number of unique visitors.  A close watch was also kept on the Facebook sweepstakes, and engagement metrics were also included in the set of deliverables.

At the Design on the Dime event, the publication was a sponsor and every exhibitor’s booth was painted with Valspar paint. Buttons that said “Love My Color,” the campaign’s slogan, were also handed out to individuals on site. House Beautiful selected six designers from the event and interviewed the individuals for video content, asking about their love for color. In quantifying that component, Valspar looks to the number of in-person attendees, in addition to digital stats.

By TJ Raphael
07/26/2012







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