Yahoo is expanding the online ad partnership it struck with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia over the fall to include the domestic diva’s magazine, as well as her TV and radio programs. This past weekend, MSLO began running the first of eight custom webisodes it produced with Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO). The videos feature Martha and Yahoo Web Life editor Heather Cabot (see left) talking about a variety of topics that are intended to subtly suggest ways MSLO’s audience can use Yahoo to e-mail their holiday greetings and thank-you notes as well as manage their money. The talks with Cabot will also be translated to advertorials in the magazine.
Over the past year, MSLO’s online ad revenue has been mixed, while its general publishing and broadcast dollars have been as challenged as other media companies. The deal with Yahoo should help MSLO meet its expectations of an improved Q4, which is typically the media company’s strongest period. The deal also represents the growth of MSLO’s online video business. The company began testing pay-to-download videos last spring.
Yahoo’s Cabot has appeared on Martha’s TV show four times since Yahoo kicked off its $100 million branding campaign this fall. “There were some smaller, online-only advertorials that we’ve done, but this is our first cross-platform deal with Yahoo,” said Janet Balis, MSLO’s EVP of Media Sales & Marketing, in an interview with paidContent. The company expects to do similar deals next year, especially around major holidays.
On the Yahoo side, while its ad campaign has also been criticized for lacking a clear coherent message, the tie-in with MSLO should help attract the general female audience its been seeking to build since launching its female-focused Shine channel in March ’08.
The partnership came together just before Yahoo kicked off the last fall, as Yahoo was starting its branding campaign. “We weren’t just looking for paid media, but a content partner as well,” said Penny Baldwin, Yahoo’s SVP, global integrated marketing and brand management. Part of the goals of the campaign was to showcase the interlocking parts of Yahoo’s products and services. In the case of the MSLO deal, Yahoo hopes to attract MSLO’s audience to its female-focused Shine channel, while also getting more users for services like the Flickr photo site and Yahoo e-mail. “We