More on Vogue’s shoppertainment extra

More on Vogue’s shoppertainment extra: The WP follows up the NYT’s story about Vogue’s online “Shop September” addendum to its September issue. Buried in the story is the real news:


Powering the site is software from a small Atlanta firm called Active8media. It uses patented technology for making digital replicas of print pages clickable online and giving advertisers a self-service system for editing the Web versions.

“We take consumers from the point of inspiration to the point of purchase,” proclaimed Lee Davis, chief executive of Active8media.

Vogue’s site is the latest in a series of attempts — mostly ill-fated — to allow advertisers to link their messages in print with Web sites. Two expensive flops that launched four years ago required consumers to hook up small scanners to their computers to read special codes or watermarks imprinted in magazines and newspapers.

If Vogue’s simpler experiment succeeds, Active8media’s technology likely will be welcomed by publishers eager to find ways to give advertisers more information about how print ads perform. That, after all, is part of the appeal of Internet advertising; it typically tells advertisers which part of their ads draws the most response from viewers when they click to get information. Active8media’s software collects detailed click-through data, allowing Alberta Ferretti, for example, to learn whether more people seemed interested in its green satin mini-skirt, lapin fur jacket or pink silk chiffon blouse worn by the model in its Vogue ad. For its part, Vogue has hired an outside firm to analyze all the data.

Okay. I will go on record. As I am noted for scoffing at technologies that on the surface appear awfully close to what’s going on here, notably the “CueCat” and “digital editions” of magazines, I would like to express what may be an unexpected thumbs up to the Vogue experiment. It works. I highly recommend magazine publishers go click around the site. It’s a helpful extension of the magazine…yet is a unique online experience as well. It is not goofy like the CueCat or clueless like I believe may be the case with PDF-ish digital replicas of print publications.

(via and others.)