HSN has never lacked for customers. Everybody has a grandma or neighbor who seems to survive on a steady stream of shipments from the original televised shopping channel. But now 28 years after its debut, the network has hired advertising giants Deutsch to help them shed their mumsy image and find a new, hipper customer. Fresh, saturated colors, a bit of humor, and a change of emphasis from d-list celebrities to the brand itself are the recipe for HSN's rebranding.
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HSN Rebrands To Shake Dowdy Image
Excerpt: "HSN may have pioneered televised sales of consumer products, but now it's working overtime to embrace the digital and mobile space, which accounts for about 40% of all sales. More than half of all new customers are coming in through digital platforms.
'We have a very loyal customer base,' said Bill Brand, chief marketing and business development officer at HSN. 'It was really time to introduce [the brand] to like-minded women who either aren't aware of HSN or their impressions of HSN were dated.'
'We'll end the first half of this year with record high new customer numbers,' Mr. Brand continued. 'The challenge is assimilating them and making them a part of this experience. We're very proud of those new customers, but we'll be more proud a year from now, if we've been able to keep them shopping with us.'
While HSN Inc. reported $3.3 billion in sales last year, up 6%, it's still well behind its much-bigger rival, QVC, which saw sales rise 3% to $8.5 billion in 2012.
HSN spent just $7.5 million on measured media last year, according to Kantar Media. But Mr. Brand says its budget will increase in 2013, with an emphasis on digital, including search and display. Creative from Deutsch also includes print.
Ads use more saturated color, a dose of humor and focus on building the HSN brand, rather than allowing various celebrities to define it. It was important to establish what HSN stood for—and what it didn't stand for, said Jonathan Johnson, senior VP-creative director.
'We wanted to try to make HSN the hero,' Mr. Johnson said. 'A couple of years ago it was about a lot of celebrity. We did fashion events, but they didn't really feel fashion forward or relevant. If you look at what we're doing today…we've evolved.'