MOTHER OF INVENTION: Tough times call for out-of-the-box thinking by both retailers and magazines. J. Crew recently sponsored a video series for GQ, advising men on how to become well-dressed rebels in 30 days. As part of the deal, the retailer also guaranteed it would sell 50,000 subscriptions over the next year on its Web site. Now in a similar vein — but on a much larger scale — Banana Republic is using the “Details Men’s Style Manual” as the inspiration for a promotion with the magazine, which will take place in more than 400 Banana Republic stores in North America. Beginning Wednesday through Sept. 17, each retail location will have extensive in-store magazine branding with “look cards,” store displays, signage and fitting room signs. Bananarepublic.com will host a microsite with more style tips from Details and special offers from the retailer. “I don’t think anything, to this scale, has been done before between a magazine and a fashion brand,” said Chris Nicklo, vice president of marketing, who noted that the retailer has been a longtime advertiser with Details. “We’re also going to advertise around this and have [store] windows associated with it.” He declined to say how much the brand is spending on the program. Publisher Steve DeLuca noted that increasing subscriptions also will be an important part of the promotion, and special offers will be available in stores and online.
— Amy Wicks