Now that Glam Media is widening its demographic net to include males, it may have to change its dominant fuchsia color scheme in its NY office. “We are just about to have the blue iris Brash purple/blue color added in places in the office,” said Samir Arora, CEO and first investor in the growing ad network. Samir, who said he’s stopped wearing pink ties daily, spent some time with me in his NY office today to talk about the launch of Brash.com Network, which is the company’s ambitious new vertical network focusing on men.
Given the advertising slump, why now? I asked. After four years of focusing on women, Samir and his team realized that there were too many channels that attracted males. Essentially, Glam Media, which has raised $110 million in financing, was missing an opportunity. While the female demographic is highly coveted, since women account for 80% of purchases, there are high CPM sweet spots in the male category as well, such as finance and cars, said Samir. Additionally, no one on the Internet is targeting the male demographic in a dominant way, he said. Indeed, perhaps no one is dominating the "male" ad network category just yet, but some companies, like Yardbarker, are certainly taking a shot at it.
How will Brash differentiate itself or be similar to Esquire, GQ, Maxim, Spike, Heavy, Break and other male-focused venues?
“I don’t think there’s a particular magazine that we’re directly targeting,” he said. “We don’t want to be in the ‘laddy’ group [magazines, such as Maxim] because we think it’s a very small niche from an advertising perspective. The Web site is very affluent, high-level... The goal of Brash was to create an emotional, provocative, hip and new brand, that’s not displacing a magazine.”
Altogether, the Brash network will consist of five categories: Men’s Lifestyle (Style, Fitness, Travel, Food & Drink), Entertainment (Music, Movies, TV, Games), Tech (Audio, Gadgets, PC & Macs), Auto (Luxury, Sport, SUV, and Sedans) and News (World, US, Politics & Tech).
More than 25 lifestyle, entertainment and technology sites, blogs and publishers have joined the Brash.com Network at launch, including: ArtistDirect; DigitalTrends.com; eCoustics.com; InGameNowSeriousWheels.com; MonstersandCritics.com and others. Content partners for Brash include: Time.com for national news; Rolling Stone for music news and updates; TheCarConnection.com for car reviews and news; SB Nation for sports coverage and CNET for technology information. Video providers for BrashTV include VidCat and HowCast.com. Major launch advertisers on the Brash.com network include Unilever’s AXE deodorant bodyspray, H&M and HP.
Stay tuned for more interviews from Samir, including his latest take on how Glam is doing as a busines; how he's seeing an advertising slump at his company, where he's taking Glam and his lessons and advice to entrepreneurs.