Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit issue is always an ‘event’ but this year the magazine makes a big splash with a dedicated website that is both content rich and full of A-list advertisers from Honda to Budweiser, as well text-based ads from Yahoo! Search Marketing.
Beyond the print issue, SI has used several techniques to raise awareness and promote the issue online. First, the Swimsuit site taps into several different options for users to experience the issue from extended pictorials to sponsored streaming video, and special sponsored sections. Second, SI has integrated a number of tools whereby fans can both experience and promote the issue from buddy icons for instant messaging to downloadable cell phone backgrounds.
The multi-platform approach has also sought to monetize videos that SI shoots each year of the pictorial shoots by producing vignettes on some of the models. The magazine has made these mini-programs iPod friendly, and available for download through Apple’s iTunes for $1.99 each or $9.99 for the set. (iTunes link).