Commentary

DTC-TV: Everything Old Is New Again

The Home Shopping Network is so ... 2019? 

Yes, according to one marketer who spoke this morning at MediaPost’s Brand Insider Summit D2C in Austin.

Ulli Haslacher (above, middle), founder and president of Pour Moi Skincare, spoke glowingly about her very successful venture with a similar institution, The Shopping Channel (TSC) in Canada. “We sold out,” she said, music to every marketer’s ears. 

“The TSC knows its consumer very well. It’s all planned out, so you can better organize your inventory. It’s different than retail, where the product might move, might not. In the green room, you see exactly what’s going on. They put a [microphone] in your ear, so you have the production team telling you to repeat what you said throughout appearance, making your key points.

“You keep repeating what sells the best. It’s a very responsive medium. Because [buyers then] go on our website, we can target them. Now they are accessible. It’s different from direct-response TV because it’s a retailer. TV shopping networks buy inventory so it’s less risky for the vendor than if you have to buy airtime.

“Your responsibility is to sell to the consumer, bring the talent, and create the sales pitch. You’re direct selling to the customer but you are surrounded by a retail environment.”

Haslacher is selling skin care in a unique way. Rather than sorting by skin type, Pour Moi Skincare sorts by climate. If you are in a dry climate, you use a product made for use in a dry climate. Using TV shopping networks is extremely valuable, she said, as a place to test. An interesting experience she had occurred when she hired talent to sell the product and sales were rather blah. She was then encouraged to be the talent although she had preferred to be behind the scenes her whole life. Consumers, she said, wanted to see the founder.

”Authenticity is so important. You can see how terrible I am,” she said, self-disparagingly referring to her appearance, “and still we see the results.” “Only here,” interjected MediaPost‘s Steve Smith, “can you see brands sharing their worst moments on stage.”

Moving on, Haslacher said, “We are learning from our TV experience what is missing in our brand or the what consumer wants Pour Moi to be. Because we are a climate-specific skin care, our consumer assumed we had to be climate conscious. It started on Facebook, where consumers were asking, ‘Are they shipping plastic in boxes? Is the paper completely recyclable?’ I never saw anything like this before. We had to start doing things differently. They see us as environmental cautious brand. Because climate change is a controversial subject, we tried to stay away from it. 

”Skin care is a sampling industry. We had to stop immediately because it’s what kills the ocean, plastic tubes no one needs. We shouldn’t spend millions on single-use packages. Sales went through the roof.”

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