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HSN, HBO highlight new collection via multichannel shopping initiative

The homepage for HSN’s mobile Web site

HSN has partnered with HBO on a campaign that stretches across the multichannel retailer’s television, online and mobile properties to let users shop a line of exclusive beauty products.

HBO has developed the collection of beauty products as a lead-up to the fifth season premiere of “True Blood.” The line will be exclusively available on HSN before becoming available at the HBO shop and retailers later this fall.

“HSN’s overall entertainment strategy is to infuse storytelling while entertaining customers with engaging content and unique retail experiences to create a deeper connection with customers,” said Kurt Kostur, senior vice president of marketing at HSN, St. Petersburg, FL.

“Both HBO and HSN saw this opportunity as a way to introduce the True Blood brand to a whole new audience,” he said.

HSN is a multichannel retailer, claiming to reach 96 million TV users with a Web site that is one of the top ten trafficked ecommerce site. The company’s Web site includes more than 16,000 product videos.

HBO Global Licensing merchandises product lines based on the network’s programming.

Multichannel beauty
The True Blood-themed Forsaken collection includes products from brands such as Givaudan, D.L. & Co. and Deborah Lippmann.

The collection will become available on Aug. 9. To promote the new products, HSN will showcase the collection four times throughout the day in one-hour segments.

After debuting on HSN, consumers will be able to buy the collection via the HBO Shop in September and from specialty retailers later in the year.

During the sale, consumers can read user-generated reviews, share products via email, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and watch videos.

HSN’s mobile properties include applications for iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, Nokia and Sprint devices. HSN also has a mobile Web site.

Mobile reach
HBO is the latest entertainment-based company to partner with HSN leading up to a premier.

Most recently, Universal Pictures promoted a line of products inspired by the “Snow White and the Huntsman” film via HSN (see story).

Additionally, last year the company used on-air QR codes to let consumers shop from brands such as Samsung, Sony and Lexmark (see story).

Not only are consumers watching TV with multiple devices, but users also want to take a direct action while watching a program, such as shopping.

As consumers become more comfortable buying via their devices, time-sensitive offers can be particularly effective at drumming up sales and buzz around a new product since a consumer’s mobile device is likely within reach while watching TV.

“Mobile continues to be HSN’s fastest growing platform. As a leader in transactional innovation, we view mobile as an extension of our overall digital shopping experience,” Mr. Kostur said.

“We look at mobile as a key component of the HSN Everywhere strategy that allows customers to experience HSN whenever and however they choose, on their terms. Customers will be able to shop the full Forsaken assortment via their mobile devices as well as sign up for mobile alerts to receive the inside scoop including original videos and other special content,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York