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Calvin Klein goes beyond mere banners in GQ app sponsorship

Calvin Klein has integrated its own content into GQ magazine?s Style Picks application via a sponsorship that hardly feels like advertising.

CK bought this sponsorship directly from GQ to present its new product line to mobile shoppers. The ad unit is what NearbyNow calls a ?sponsored guide,? and it is full of interactive content such as model shots, a product catalog and videos.

?The idea here is to make the ad unit as close to content as possible, so that it is useful to men looking for style advice,? said Scott Dunlap, CEO of NearbyNow, San Francisco, which powers the application for GQ. ?CK has done a great job with their sponsored guide, so much so that it really doesn?t feel like advertising.

?It?s very rich in content, which allows the users to engage with the brand far longer than a banner ad or mobile coupon,? he said. ?The CK guide gets equal placement with the GQ editorial selections.?

Condé Nast publishes GQ, a men?s fashion and lifestyle magazine.

Within the application, consumers can click on a model with a new summer look and get a list of all the products that model is wearing.

For those users who like what they see, they can find the closest CK store to go try it out.

Additionally, if consumers want to know more about what CK has going for with that look, they can watch the video where style experts from GQ and CK walk through the new items.

The GQ Style Picks application targets men looking for quick style advice.

All of the picks, tips and videos are short and to the point, perfect for the man on the go.

?CK can reach men who are in discovery mode looking for ideas, and are near a point of purchase,? Mr. Dunlap said. ?It?s a perfect time to present the brand in a good light.?

Mr. Dunlap said that when a sponsored guide is done right, NearbyNow sees very high engagement (average 30 percent click-through) and conversion to purchase (average 5.8 percent).

?That?s no surprise given the rich content,? Mr. Dunlap said.

Here is a screen grab of the sponsor guide, integrated into the Style Picks content:

When the GQ first launched its application, Ralph Lauren was the launch sponsor.

The preppy retailer used the application to promote its fragrances (see story).

?NearbyNow spent a lot of time talking to men about how they get style advice, and GQ is the best at this,? Mr. Dunlap said. ?What we heard was ?short, to the point and give me ideas.?

?Men shop differently at different times. Sometimes they ?hunt,? meaning they need a single item like a new belt,? he said. ?They would prefer a shorter selection of belts picked with some expertise like GQ stylists, rather than 100-plus belts.

?When a new season comes, they prefer to see complete head-to-toe looks to understand what is new, and then pick out their favorite items. CK presented the best of both worlds in their sponsored guide. If you are hunting, you can look at individual items. If you want to see new looks for the season, you can look at full model shots and break it down to see each product. They will refresh it in the summer too.?