Vogue Magazine teamed up with fashion and media divisions of IMG to produce a Web-based reality series about the fashion industry. On August 19th 2008, “Model.Live” will debute on-demand on Vogue.tv, a site that runs advertiser sponsored videos and allows visitors to buy the featured products. The 12 eight-minute episodes follow the lives of three young models (a long haired black girl, a long haired Caucasian girl and a boyish avant-garde type girl) as they set foot in the world of fashion.
Clothing retailer Express LLC is the show’s lead sponsor and is said to have paid in the "low seven figures" for the deal. In return, the European and American offices of IMG Models will be furnished with closets of Express clothes. Don’t expect the models to wear the relatively cheap clothes of the 580 –stores American retailer though (‘in the interest of authenticity’). During the shows, consumers will be able to click a link to buy the ensembles the models are wearing -- or to see how to get a similar look from Express.com.
Productions costs per episode: $250,000, totaling $3 million for twelve and about $31,000 a minute. That puts it among the biggest-budget Web-TV projects to date.
It is a big bet for Express, as this medium is difficult to measure and far from proven. Vogue guaranteed Express 83.4 million "impressions," or ad views but the number of people who actually watch the on-demand episodes is impossible to track. "This is new to all of us, so to some degree we are building it together," says Lisa Gavales, chief marketing officer of privately held Express told the Wall Street Journal.