Dazed launches new beauty vertical, starting on Instagram

Dazed Media, which publishes fashion and lifestyle titles including Dazed, AnOther and Nowness, is launching a new beauty vertical. But instead of starting with a website or print magazine, it’s launching on Instagram, with a website and print issue set to follow over the next two months.

Bunny Kinney, editor-in-chief for Dazed Beauty, said the beauty vertical was prompted by the success of beauty content that Dazed was publishing roughly twice a week. The Instagram-first launch aligned with a shift by the company to build up a social audience by creating content with those platforms in mind, then reimagining it for other platforms. The Dazed Beauty print magazine, out in November, will features stills from moving images that were shot for Instagram, for instance.

“There wasn’t a lot of exciting, boundary-pushing beauty content in digital,” Kinney said. “We want to celebrate the spirit of beauty that stands for individuality, self-expression and identity and illustrate that through digitally minded content.”

The beauty content will initially focus on the future of the body, using CGI, stills and moving images. For the Instagram launch, the Dazed Beauty editorial team commissioned digital artists to create artworks based on 3D head scans of Dazed Beauty’s icons, including musician Yves Tumor by Sucuk und Bratwurst. The core team of six, plus four Dazed staffers who work across verticals, is expected to grow as it creates more social and video content.

Dazed Beauty will be monetized through branded content and display ads. Dazed Beauty’s first ad campaign is slated to run at the end of September, for Maison Margiela fragrance. The campaign includes display ads and branded content that will live on the site and social.

Beauty is a crowded landscape in publishing, but there’s space for new entrants: According to GlobalData, the beauty and wellness market will reach £26.7 billion ($34.8 billion) by 2022, up 21.2 percent over 2017.

Dazed, with 1.3 million followers on its main account, has used Instagram before to launch a new brand. Its male luxury magazine, AnOther Man, started online as an Instagram account, which has since grown to 240,000 followers. This is Dazed Media’s first foray into a category-specific vertical. It plans to launch a science vertical next year, a further deviation than beauty from Dazed’s core content.

“Beauty is, at a grassroots level, quite democratic; we’re curating different points of view,” said Kinney. “Digital publishing is a lot more reactive, more instantaneous, a living, breathing, acting community.”

Breaking out verticals and sub-accounts is a smart way to build a focused following and learn about audience behaviors in real time, said Livia Stefanini, head of Havas LuxHub UK. “Much like influencers, micro is becoming more appealing than mass,” she said. “Focused and seemingly intimate feeds can offer more compelling and relevant content without catering to the lowest common denominator.”

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