A ‘Simple’ Approach to Multimedia Partnerships
Time Inc.-owned lifestyle magazine Real Simple has partnered with cable network TLC to develop original content across multiple platforms, including print, television and online. The partnership will culminate in a lifestyle makeover television series that will premier on TLC in August as well as in series-related content in print and online.
Kevin White, Real Simple’s publisher, spoke with Publishing Executive Inbox about how the partnership developed, what each brand hopes to gain from it, and how the partnership enables the magazine to better serve its advertisers.
Inbox: How did the partnership with TLC evolve?
Kevin White: Our President Steve Sachs approached Angela Shapiro-Mathes, who is the president of TLC, shortly after she started [in that position] around last July. [He] approached her with the idea … to do a multilevel, multimedia partnership. [We were trying to target] that [TLC] consumer. It’s an affluent, well-educated consumer that has similar psychographics to our brand. We always thought it was a good brand match, the TLC viewer and the Real Simple reader. … [And, TLC has] smart programming and good buzz in the industry. [When brainstorming potential partners,] TLC kept coming to the top.
Inbox: What type of content will come out of this partnership?
White: We’re developing a new television show, a reality lifestyle makeover show. … It’s going to be 15 original episodes, and a different subject, a woman, [will be featured] every week. It’ll be a variety: a single woman, a married woman, a married woman with children. … The plan is to have it air on Friday night, and it will be paired with one of [TLC’s] most popular shows, “What Not to Wear,” which is a style makeover show. … Basically, the host, who is yet to be named, will spend a number of days with [the subject] and identify the top challenges that she would like help with to make her life easier. Then we’ll call in experts [to help her with those challenges]. … That [content] will then be threaded through the magazine and digital platforms. There will be an area on RealSimple.com dedicated to the television show, but there will also be a unique URL for the television show. And the plan right now is for a separate area or edit section within the magazine devoted to [the show] also.