Today, more and more big media brands are opting to launch verticals within bigger sites than standalone websites because verticals have built in audiences and don’t require a whole lot of staffing if at all. Conde Nast’s Architectural Digest (AD) is the latest to take this leap with the launch of Clever, a new vertical targeting the over targeted millennial demo. Clever, the brainchild of Editor in Chief Amy Astley looks to attract younger readers to the AD brand which currently attracts readers with an average age of 53. Ms. Astley and her team are hoping to use Clever to attract readers 18-34 with a more scaled down approach with subjects like decorating studio apartments on a budget instead of the big million dollar homes usually seen in the pages and on the website of AD. Conde Nast isn’t the first to target millennials with a DIY home design launch. Time Inc tried with TheSnug which it launched at the start of 2015 only to shutter it just over a year later in October 2016. The only difference was the approach. Time inc did not go the vertical route. Instead TheSnug was a stand alone destination with a dedicated staff that struggled to build an audience around the brand. In the end the site was folded into Real Simple which it probably should’ve been a part of in the first place.
Clever will operate autonomously from Architectural Digest, with three core editors dedicated to the site’s content, as well as a video and social team. Keith Pollock, Architectural Digest’s executive director of digital, said as part of Clever’s mission to “democratize design,” it will cater to readers undergoing significant life transitions, such as moving out of college and into a first rental apartment, or couples purchasing their first home.
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