Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Conde Nast Traveler on a Voyage ; Magazine Embarks on Reinvention, Assisted by a Crew of Achievers

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Conde Nast Traveler on a Voyage ; Magazine Embarks on Reinvention, Assisted by a Crew of Achievers

Article excerpt

The magazine is using a new campaign, "I am a Traveler" to signal its reinvention. The theme will be personified by achievers in fields like fashion, food, design and the arts.

A travel magazine is using a campaign to signal an embarkation on a trip of its own to a land that is becoming increasingly popular among print publications, Reinventionstan.

The campaign, for Conde Nast Traveler, part of the Conde Nast division of Advance Publications, carries the theme "I am a Traveler" with a subtheme, "Every Journey Begins Here." The theme will be personified by achievers in fields like fashion, food, design and the arts, offering confident assertions in this vein: "Travel sparks my imagination. I like to picture the world as a home -- London is the living room and Rio is the bedroom."

The campaign, which is being created internally, is part of a revamping of the Conde Nast Traveler brand that includes a changing of the guard atop the business and newsroom sides of the magazine. The budget for the campaign, in print and social media, is estimated at $1.5 million, which includes the value of the ad space in the magazine's own pages and the pages of Conde Nast siblings that include Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, The New Yorker and Wired.

Conde Nast Traveler was introduced in 1987 as a self-proclaimed alternative to travel publications that played up fluff and fantasy at the expense of providing well-traveled, well-heeled readers with realistic information about potential destinations.

The approach was embodied by a theme, "Truth in Travel," which has continued to appear on the magazine's cover each month.

"Truth in Travel" remains "a valuable part of the brand," said William Wackermann, who in June left the top business-side post at Glamour, another Conde Nast magazine, to become executive vice president and publishing director at Conde Nast Traveler. The theme is, however, emblematic of what he called "the old model, when the travel expert was the editor of the magazine and there was one point of view, of the expert."

"Today, I don't think it's one viewpoint because there are so many experts, especially the travelers themselves," Mr. Wackermann said, many of them "tastemakers like designers, stylists, chefs" who look for ideas and advice online as well as in print.

"I think our job is to be a filter," he added. "That doesn't mean we abandon any of our heritage; we just expand our lens."

When asked whether the "Truth in Travel" philosophy would be retained as the magazine was made over, Mr. Wackermann deferred to Pilar Guzman, who was named last month as editor in chief. "As Pilar spends more time at the brand, she'll be discussing her vision of what the magazine should be," he said.

Audrey Siegel, president at TargetCast TCM in New York, part of the Maxxcom Global Media unit of MDC Partners, said she liked "the new positioning because it's smart, it's differentiating. …

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