Challenge: To launch CNN Style, a new global content vertical aimed at the world’s most stylish people.
CNN wanted to emphasize its high-end audience to luxury advertisers. But the network had only dabbled in premium luxury content, and while those experiments had been successful, the network was not perceived to be a true player in the sector.
This project began with a brief to investigate style as a potential vertical. Audience research showed that a pure fashion play was too narrow for CNN’s upscale, male-skewed audience and so I devised a broader content strategy focused on design and the visual arts.
Content was designed to be ultra high-end, yet highly shareable and accessible in tone and language for CNN’s global audience. Edgy, with its finger on the pulse of the visual arts, CNN Style stretched the traditional news brand’s remit while remaining true to CNN’s core values of quality, authenticity and on-the-ground reporting.
On launch, CNN Style quickly became one of CNN’s most-visited verticals and in less than a year, established itself – and the CNN brand – as a key player in the sector.
- Names featured in the first months included designers Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino, Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, Manolo Blahnik; artists Marina Abramovic, Ai Wei Wei, Catherine Opie, Antony Gormley; architects Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid, Shigeru Ban
- On the ground at fashion weeks, biennales, Art Basel, Salon del Mobile, auto and luxury shows
- Site and social performance far beyond launch targets – and growing rapidly
- Audience loyalty: More page views per visit than any other CNN vertical
- Innovation: Instagram interviews, animated Facebook videos, high-end digital video
- Sponsors including Gucci, Vacheron Constantin, Tag Heuer, Ralph Lauren, Hyundai
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Linnie Rawlinson was CNN International’s Executive Producer for Specials and Features. With teams in London and Hong Kong, she led CNN’s international features team, devising and launching verticals such as CNN Style, delivering engaging, shareable content to millions of users each day that generated millions of dollars in advertising revenue each year.