MONEY’S Best Places to Live ranking is one of the largest franchises for the brand—engaging an audience of nearly 2M readers in 2018. In this massive data project sponsored by Realtor.com, the MONEY editorial team ranks towns around the country using statistics on each place’s economic health, cost of living, diversity, public education, income, crime, ease of living, and amenities, all provided by research partner. The final rankings appear as a cover story for the October issue of the magazine and a responsive website with profile pages for each location. In subsequent months, various sublists from the broader ranking are published on the website and promoted on social media. I was responsible for conceptualizing all photo shoots for the franchise, hiring photographers in a number of the top locations, photo direction, clearing legal rights and ensuring NDAs were in place due to the embargo date of the ranking, overseeing look-and-feel of all photography and ensuring images worked on each platform (print, web and social media).
The cover image for the magazine features a house provided by Realtor.com that is reflective of the style and median home price for real estate in the #1 location. It was extensively scouted based on availability at time of publication, desirability and visual possibilities for a cover.
Cover sketches explored ways of capturing the beauty of the home and surrounding neighborhood and avoiding repetition of past Best Places To Live covers, ways to include a human element and illustrate a visually-enticing scene and lifestyle.
The magazine feature opened with a shot of the Choctaw Lazy River at Dr. Pepper Ballpark, home of the Frisco RoughRiders.
The mobile and web presentations featured a crop of the same image with overlay or color block for the franchise title and branding.
The subsequent pages of the print feature included profiles of the top-ranked locations, starting with #1: Frisco, Texas.
The tablet and web versions displayed a grid of the top-ranked locations with a click-through option to view profile pages for each town.