The storied Conde Nast fashion outlet and the spirited digital-media empire are joining forces to create “Project Vs,” an editorial collaboration slated to launch in early 2018 that will play out in a new website and in both media brands and showcase figures, movements and issues affecting society. Audiences will be served a mix of videos, photos, long form storytelling and other elements that will all be promoted by both media companies on social media. Content will be produced by a dedicated team consisting of both Vogue and Vice editors. Condé Nast will lead the advertising process for the collaboration, with Vogue chief business officer Susan Plagemann overseeing efforts, in coordination with the Vice’s team.
The alliance will be unveiled Thursday at an event known as a “Final Front,” an annual confab launched by Omnicom Media Group, the large media-buying unit that is part of Omnicom Group. Each year, the company’s Content Collective unit, which helps navigate brand alliances for agencies like OMD, PHD and Hearts & Science, brings together media outlets seeking to strike deals with the company’s blue-chip clients. Among the marketers slated to be in attendance are Procter & Gamble, AT&T, Audi , Delta, Hewlett Packard, MGM Resorts, Pepsi, JC Penney, Nissan, Warner Brothers, and Apple
If the prospect of Vogue and Vice pitching together strikes some as surprising, Claudia Cahill, Omnicom Media Group’s chief content officer, thinks alliances such as this one might soon become the norm. Advertisers need seamless interplay between traditional media like print and TV and emerging digital and social techniques, she said. Sometimes, such stuff can only be found when experts from each area agree to link hands.
Many unorthodox team-ups will take place at the Omnicom event. Viacom’s MTV will team up with Shazam. NBCUniversal will present ideas with Buzzfeed. Others taking part include ABC, Reddit, Discovery Communications, Fullscreen, 21st Century Fox, Live Nation and PopSugar.
With consumer attention to media so splintered by a growing and dizzying array of options, media companies have to re-assemble the big crowds Madison Avenue craves. “How do you put these audiences together in a way that truly makes sense?” asked Cahill. Figuring that out often means companies that would normally not be part of the same consideration set must come together, she said.
“Vogue and Vice may appear to some to see the world through different lenses,” said Anna Wintour, Condé Nast artistic director and editor-in-chief of Vogue, in a prepared statement. “But, in my view, both are fearless and breathtaking, with unquenchable curiosity and vigor. This collaboration will benefit from two talented editorial teams working together to produce relevant and exciting stories about the way we live now.”
“What started as a slow dance collaboration has quickly become a high speed collision between Vice and Vogue, juxtaposing the many social, political and cultural tensions of our times to create a capsule commentary on the world we live in,” said Tom Punch, chief commercial and creative officer of Vice, in a statement. “We’re very excited to see where Project Vs will take us all.”
Other companies see a need to step outside their own boundaries as well. “This year, the specifics for the ‘Final Front’ made us stretch one step further,” said Dario Spina, chief marketing office for Viacom Velocity, the company’s in-house marketing unit. “It has really allowed us to tap into partners that we would maybe not normally call on at the ideation phase, if you will.”
In past years at the “Final Front,” Omnicom clients got an early peek at projects from people like Brian Grazer and Mark Burnett.
Omnicom’s Cahill is eager to see what the various teams have to show. “We wanted to get them to create ideas together,” she said. “It really does promote a different way of thinking.”