The Shopping Channel launched last week to no shortage of fanfare, and there’s no question awareness of the channel was boosted significantly by the appearance of Eva Longoria. But by and large, unlike a certain online trading website that launched this week, the Shopping Channel’s much-hyped debut seems to have gone relatively smoothly, and both ACP, which announced its partnership with the channel at a gala event on Wednesday night, and Ogilvy, have big plans for the brand.
ACP’s commercial director Paul Gardiner says that when ACP found out the Shopping Channel wanted to bring Longoria out, it seemed like a natural move to be part of it.
“Eva is such a strong brand attached with Woman’s Day, it just made sense for us to be involved.”
Rumours milling about put the price tag on Longoria's appearance for Woman's Day and its sponsor L'Oreal at $180,000, though Gardiner unsurprisingly yielded little by way of confirmation, just that the fee paid was “substantial”.
The price tag attached to her appearance might take a long time to recuperate, however (unconfirmed numbers we've heard put the sales on opening night at $8,000, and we’re still waiting to hear back from the Shopping Channel to see if that figure is accurate). But Longoria’s signature coffret did sell out when she made her live appearance on the channel on Thursday night.
Gardiner views the Shopping Channel as an opportunity to extend ACP's offering into the market place, creating another touch point for its clients. A demonstration on the Shopping Channel, for example, can then be replicated in its magazines or online extensions.
“That’s what advertisers are looking for,” comments Gardiner. “They’re looking for media owners to come back to them with a holistic offering that is using more than one channel.”
Although ACP already produces video content for its clients and channels it through platforms like Taste TV, Gardiner says partnering with the Shopping Channel gives ACP the opportunity to produce content in a different way that is cost-effective.
“Content is king and if we can produce content on a great platform, at an efficient cost for our advertisers, and extend that content across different platforms, then it’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
Extending its offering to clients is one of the two key elements the partnership will deliver. The other, according to Gardiner, is the opportunity to provide a platform that ACP can cross-promote its brand and talent on, “with the view to get our key talent – the editors of our brands and our beauty editors – onto the Shopping Channel”.
“Our editors and beauty editors are authorities in their own fields and it gives us the ability to extend our brand onto another platform and talk to consumers in a different way," he says.
The Shopping Channel is Greg Partington's baby and from Ogilvy’s perspective, executive director Paul Manning says the agency is excited to be a part of something that is a “genuine startup and hasn’t been tried before in this country”.
Ogilvy and Robber’s Dog's debut TVC for the Shopping Channel launched last month, and Manning says to his knowledge it’s been well received.
"Since launch, prompted awareness of The Shopping Channel has leapt from nothing to 66 percent. For a startup business, that's quite exceptional. The TVC has been on air just two-and-a-half weeks and 61 percent of women shoppers in New Zealand say they've seen it."
The TVC is part of an integrated, cross-platform campaign and Manning says one of the interesting things about having the Shopping Channel as a client is that it's using every aspect of the agency’s capability.
Advertisements placed in publications like the New Zealand Herald put the call out to New Zealand entrepreneurs and wholesalers to sell through the channel. Elsewhere there’s been an ample amount of work around social media, particularly on building the presence of the channel’s Facebook page. And of course, there’s the PR machine with Bullet, with its efforts starting right back with the public casting for channel presenters through to Longoria’s visit to New Zealand (and its guidance on the type of questions journalists could ask).
There’s a lot more work planned in the communications pipeline, but Manning won’t reveal the details of that just yet.
In the meantime, for those yet to catch a glimpse of the channel, Dan News put together a package of the Shopping Channel's best ‘live on air' moments from opening night, complete with awkward sexual innuendos involving bananas and Candy Lane sharing why she loves a boner.