Teen Vogue

Gaming the Back-to-School Shopping Season

In our third collaboration with Teen Vogue, the publishing team wanted to enhance both the relationship with the reader and the utility of the magazine without replicating the print edition on the digital screen. We created an iPhone App to combine the magazine experience with Teen Vogue’s new Back-To-School Saturday shopping event. By providing value to the reader and the advertiser in a gamified ecosystem (the app was positioned as a digital and real-world treasure-hunt), the platform supports future events and promotion.

Gamification Driving Interaction

Insider’s gamification and in-store rewards motivated consumers to snap, read, view, share, and like Teen Vogue and advertiser content: Our system tracked user activity (like store check-ins and magazine scans) and rewarded their in-app activity with sweepstake entries—the more they used the app, the more likely they were to win. In addition, the opportunity to communicate directly with the reader on their mobile device, particularly during their shopping experience, strengthens the bond between brand and reader.

We balanced these “active” app features with “passive” features like browsing magazine content and advertiser’s sponsored content. These directly addressed the reader and leveraged their mobile-savvy lifestyle to create a unique product which combined shopping, connection, and social media to mobilize the TV content and Teen Vogue brand.

Breakthrough Image Recognition Tech

We used image recognition technology developed by Conde Nast’s partner Quad Graphics to directly connect Insider with the magazine—it was one of the first applications of this technology, and Teen Vogue’s first app to have real time image recognition without the need for QR codes, barcodes, or other visual clutter on the page to create a fast, easy, and rewarding scanning experience.

A Flexible CMS and Product Extensions

To address longevity, 90% of Teen Vogue Insider’s content was CMS controlled, allowing the editorial team to use the app in future shopping events, magazine extensions, and new advertiser integrations. The app launched for iPhone in Summer 2012. As the program expanded in 2013 and 2014, we built both Android and Web versions and added features and functional enhancements.


Insider extended advertising opportunities into the mobile space. Thanks to the opportunity for Teen Vogue and its advertisers to communicate directly with the reader during their shopping experience, Insider quickly delivered on business goals by bringing advertisers—over 30 in the first year—like Aéropostale, American Apparel, Express, Guess, H&M, Maybelline New York, Pacific Sunwear, Quiksilver, Staples, Vans, Tampax, Covergirl, Olay, and Pantene.

FOUR32C is a NY interactive agency. We’re curious digital natives who bring creativity and intelligence to the world’s most beloved brands. We create thoughtful, compelling interactive experiences by starting every project with questions. Our process leads to evocative digital products designed with a purpose for every pixel.