ANYTHING THEY CAN DO: As magazine publishers seek to give advertisers a bang for their buck — especially when that buck needs to stretch further and further — they’ve been forced to get creative. Travel + Leisure’s new partnership with Nautica on a villa in Mexico is an example. The rental-ready beachfront villa is stocked with Nautica goods such as bedding, home furnishings, towels and even clothes in guests’ sizes. The magazine has done its part, and not just by promoting the villa through advertisements in its pages and on the Web site. “We chose the villa jointly….We vetted 20 different villas through different providers,” said associate publisher for marketing Pamela Norwood. “We went down and walked through the villa and figured out how to maximize the exposure. We’ve had five meetings with their top creative people.”
Esquire’s branded spaces are an obvious comparison, though their apartments and houses bring together multiple advertisers, and Travel + Leisure is sticking to one brand and not putting its name on the space.
At the time, Nautica was about to launch its e-commerce site, so the sweepstakes to win a week in the villa is intended to drive traffic to the site. The contest has received 7,500 entries to date, and purchases of more than $125 at the Nautica online store come with a one-year subscription to Travel + Leisure. And, though T+L points to a recent reader survey that shows 65 percent of its readers plan to travel as much or more than last year, and that 75 percent already have plans to travel internationally in the next year, the venture isn’t totally impervious to the times: The price of the villa has been chopped from $16,100 to $12,600 a week.