SWATH Inspired Products to be Sold on HSN May 30

NY Times In the continuing quest for ardent fans and movie ticket sales, studios are expanding their marketing arsenal to appeal to home shoppers, a largely female audience of proven purchasers.

Universal Pictures and HSN, formerly known as the Home Shopping Network, are planning 24 hours of programming at the end of May featuring beauty, home and fashion products created specifically to evoke the sensibility of the coming movie “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

“It’s really powerful to link the storytelling and products,” said Stephanie Sperber, president of partnerships and licensing for Universal Pictures, which produced the Brothers Grimm-inspired tale starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron as the dueling beauties.

The May 30 HSN event, just before “Snow White” opens nationally on June 1, is trying to drum up viewer interest. Exclusive behind-the-scenes looks at the film version, with its fantastical effects, striking scenery and scary twists, will be combined with products specifically created to evoke the film’s themes of beauty and power.

There is no product placement, but Ms. Theron wears Evil Queen jewelry that inspired HSN’s apple-shaped brooch and about 200 other products, including several mirrors, that will be offered to home shoppers with footage from the movie’s filming in and around London last year.

“The vast majority of its viewers range from their late 20s to their early 40s,” said Ms. Sperber, “so HSN is a perfect marketing partner for this movie.”

HSN, which broadcasts to 96 million households around the clock, also will feature cosmetics, bedding and other products on its Internet and mobile platforms. About five million customers — about 80 percent of whom are female — have shopped at HSN in the most recent 12-month period, according to the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based company.

“We are infusing storytelling as we entertain our customers with engaging content and unique retail experiences,” said Bill Brand, HSN’s executive vice president of programming, marketing and business development. “Our customer loves to be in the know, so the earlier — and more — access, the more interested and excited she is.”

In advance of its “Snow White” programming blitz, HSN plans to show the movie to its employees — as with “Eat Pray Love” — to help its call-center workers respond more readily to shopper questions about products and their connections to the film.

HSN also was on the set in England to film interviews and footage for the behind-the-scenes material that will be part of its May “Snow White” session. HSN also is showing a movie trailer on its site, and mailing 1.5 million program guides to its households to build awareness among viewers. It will also promote the event on other television networks, but it has not yet settled on which ones.

In addition to the apple-shaped brooch designed by Heidi Daus, other products include a twig-and-butterfly bordered mirror designed by Hutton Wilkinson, candles by D.L. and Company, and Richard Mishaan-designed candlesticks, lamps, mirrors and decorative pillows. Each designer is scheduled to talk about the wares related to “Snow White” during the HSN event.

Shoppers who use mobile devices, including tablets, will be able to watch clips on products and the film, and talk about them on social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Universal Pictures did not disclose how much it was spending to market “Snow White.” It is paying HSN an undisclosed marketing fee.

“It’s almost like barter,” said Ms. Sperber. “We receive a fraction of product sales, but what we are looking for is building anticipation for the movie.”

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