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Coming soon to cable, brand retailer tv

November 26, 2004

Today is the biggest shopping day of the year and retailers are trying everything to encourage shoppers to buy. One interesting trend is the rise of the retail store as media broadcaster. Increasingly, retailers are adding a layer of media beyond the traditional point of sale to attract shoppers. This comes in the form of television and increasingly flat screens are being used as the delivery point.

flat screen as sales tool

So retailers are becoming programmers and pulling different elements together; TV advertising, promotional offers and feeds from regular television networks to create a customized media experience. Retailer television networks have the power to sell their own advertising to amortize their production and programming costs.

Wal-Mart, not surprisingly, has developed one of the most sophisticated systems that have succeeded in attracting attention and generating strong brand recall.

wal mart tv-a ratings success

Retail brands need to think about this development carefully. It would be easy to just throw a few flat screens up on the wall and put advertising and promotions up on them. However, this is brand TV and it needs to be planned, structured and consistent with the overall brand. In the near future, developing content and programming for brand TV will be its own skill center. It will be more refined and sophisticated and not be a mish-mash of available content, instead it would be programmed and developed like network TV- designed to push product and reach targeted demographics.

As the retailer’s brand programming, packaging and creative skills get more sophisticated, other points of content distribution beyond the store might start to become important.

It’s not difficult to imagine, the more sophisticated lifestyle retailers being able to push some of their own broadcast content out into homes or even the Internet. Imagine a Banana Republic or Pottery Barn network, that would deliver mini micro targeted video catalogs or even their own entertainment based short- film content, featuring interactive product placement. This could then be distrubuted to Tivo owners or cable viewers, who agree to watch in-exchange for pay-per-view credits or exclusive programming.

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