Bauer Media has today given iconic teen magazine DOLLY a totally fresh face, with its “mobile first” policy the pinnacle of its reinvention. The rebrand comes as the 46-year-old brand discovered that 90 per cent of Dolly’s 14-17-year-old target audience engages with the title via smartphones.
The new and improved dolly.com.au has been designed as a fully responsive on demand mobile site that speaks to teens on the platforms they interact with the most.
While still intending to keep teens in the know on all the breaking celebrity news, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle content, dolly.com.au boasts a couple of newbies too, including a custom quiz platform and emoji reactions.
Video is central to the new digital strategy with content produced in a purpose built DOLLY studio. In-read native video advertising platform Teads will offer offer advertisers enhanced engagement opportunities with consumers.
“We pride ourselves on knowing our audience, the kind of content they engage with and the forms they enjoy consuming it in. That’s why we’re putting video to the heart of our editorial strategy,” Dolly digital managing editor Emily Kerr said.
Dolly has also launched on Snapchat to leverage all of the key social media channels, as its consumers’ demand even more sharable content.
“We’ve got a diversified distribution strategy, so social, search, direct, third party, off-platform, and we recognise the importance of all those audience and distribution sources,” Bauer Xcel MD Carl Hammerschmidt said.
“Facebook is a really big, highly engaged audience for us and it’s got a massive reach, so it’s a really important audience channel for us.”
In addition to the enhanced dollyy.com.au, the reimagined magazine hits the shelves today. The new perfect-bound bimonthly still reads like the same Dolly but will include longer reads and deeper content on celebrity, lifestyle and relationships.
Fans of the Dolly posters have also been heard, with the mag publishing poster books every other month. And the hugely popular Dolly Doctor will continue to run across both print and digital.
Dolly publisher Marina Go said, “When Dolly was launched in the 1970s there were very different consumer expectations to those of today.
“Dolly has remained the number one magazine for teenage girls throughout that time but our readers have told us they want the great content we deliver to them in the format and on the platforms they engage with the most.
“Smartphone usage amongst our audience is very high which is why a mobile first strategy is no longer a nice to have but a necessity.
“We have spent a lot of time defining the purpose of our digital properties and the magazine. The website will be more reactive, topical and visually strong with a heavy emphasis on video, news and entertainment, while our print offering will be an ‘edited-for-her’ guidebook to her life, with more in-depth features on the issues she cares about most.”
Hammerschmidt said when it comes to online strategy, “Digital is about scale and it’s about how well you can scale audiences”. And with the relaunch of Dolly now underway, he added Cosmopolitan was next in the business’ sights.
“Over the next six months we’re relaunching Dolly as a mobile first, digital first, video strategy,” he explained.
“We are then looking to relaunch Cosmo, which is already a hero brand and a hero product in the young women’s segment, and with both of them we think we’re going to have one of the most compelling young women’s offerings in the market, on a truly responsive, mobile first platform.
“I think in Dolly and Cosmo we’ve got two great hero brands, and two brands we’ll bring two really strong audiences from.”
Bauer Xcel digital commercial director Peter Manten added, “The amplification of the DOLLY brand digitally, with an absolute audience, content and mobile first strategy, is testament to the depth of the Bauer Xcel digital portfolio and continues to allow us to offer unique and exciting opportunities for brands and clients alike.”