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Esquire Extends the Brand into Physical Space


To the left is a view from one of the Esquire apartments in New York. In the past, magazines that cover home design have decorated aparments, but Esquire does a great job of creating a complete brand experience. View the entire apartment through photos by Yale Wagner.

NY Times: Esquire Gets a Temporary Bachelor Pad by Katharine Q. Seelye

Many magazines have branding ventures, among them Time's Person of the Year, the Vanity Fair party at the Oscars and Glamour's Women of the Year.

Now Esquire is trying to brand real estate. The men's magazine has taken over an apartment in the Gwathmey-Siegel undulating building at Astor Place in downtown Manhattan for six months. The apartment has an estimated market value of $12.5 million, but Esquire is paying no rent. How did they swing this deal? By promising maximum publicity to everyone involved.

Esquire handed the keys to various designers and let them furnish individual rooms in their signature styles, using the products, furniture and accessories of the magazine's advertisers.

Then it opened up the apartment to invitation-only charity events, which means about 5,000 affluent people are drifting through the rooms, eyeing the goods and the apartment. The advertisers get exposure in a high-end setting. The building, where there are empty apartments, gets potential buyers parading through. And Esquire gets a commitment from the advertisers to buy ads in the magazine over the next year.

If all this sounds excessive to you, you are probably on the verge of extinction.