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‘If we had an audience asking to see more advertising, we were clearly succeeding.’

Axelrod created a video series called “I Yahoo’d Myself,” in which he sits with a celebrity and together they read news items about that celebrity. “It plays off the company’s heritage as a search engine, but it’s also a fun way to do an interview,” he said of the segments he conducted with celebrities including P. Diddy, Eva Mendes, Jessica Biel, Kelly Osbourne, and Natalie Dormer that typically received 1 million views each. “My style is to make them feel comfortable while also pushing them just a little bit out of their comfort zone; that’s how I get quotes they haven’t given to any other interviewers.” For example, with some easygoing banter and diplomatic wording, he famously coaxed the actress Courteney Cox into “saying she couldn’t deny that David Schwimmer is the reason there hasn’t been a Friends reunion.”

Axelrod developed his perspective on branding and media while he was publisher and editor-in-chief at Into The Gloss. “Traditionally, publisher and editor-in-chief are roles that would be separated. In my case, they were combined,” he said. “I could look at editorial from a business perspective and say ‘If we want to write about X, how can we incorporate an advertiser to sponsor it?’” Although he acknowledges that this perspective might raise eyebrows at more traditional publications, Axelrod is unapologetic. “I’m a firm believer that good content is good content,” he said. “If you’re sponsored by an advertiser, you have more money to spend on good visuals, good writing, resources you might not otherwise be able to afford. I think there’s a way to combine the two—editorial and advertising—and be honest and

straightforward about it. Sponsorship shouldn’t be a dirty secret.” And the corporate realm is clearly impressed with Axelrod’s approach. In 2014, he was honored by a Webby Award in the branded-content category for an Estée Lauder campaign promoting a new scent called “Modern Muse.” “The campaign theme was ‘Who’s Your Muse?’” Axelrod explained. “We hired an eccentric stylist we knew in LA and had her dress up and do her makeup as three of her biggest inspirations: Bianca Jagger, Sade, and French actress Anna Karina. After those three installments were broadcast, we received comments asking if there would be more. It seemed to me if we had an audience asking to see more advertising, we were clearly succeeding.” 31

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W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G FA L L 2 015

Frances Denny ’03

— Nick Axelrod ’02

11/4/15 8:55 AM

Profile for Concord Academy

CA Magazine Fall 2015 Issue  

This special issue spotlights create + innovate: The Centennial Campaign for Concord Academy, including a campaign impact report and coverag...

CA Magazine Fall 2015 Issue  

This special issue spotlights create + innovate: The Centennial Campaign for Concord Academy, including a campaign impact report and coverag...

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