NBCU Shopping Push Takes Bravo to the Metaverse and Beyond - WWD

NBCU Shopping Push Takes Bravo to the Metaverse and Beyond – WWD

NBCUniversal’s “One Platform” shopper TV initiative plans to make Bravo beyond just commerce and television. The company revealed Monday that this week’s BravoCon 2022 in New York will pass many consumer experiences in the real, digital, and virtual worlds.

This year’s Bravo Bazaar will introduce fans to “Real Housewives,” “Top Chef,” “Below Deck,” and other shows featuring over 60 brands at the on-site event, with transactions backed by NBCUniversal checkout, while others explore “improved Metaverse version. The virtual event, which launched last year, is reconfigured with collections of favorites and studded with shoppable products, and will be four times bigger this time around. TRESemmé, the brand’s premium partner, will also sponsor a real-world salon with products that people can shop in person and online.

“NBCUniversal has a strong pulse on the wants and needs of the Bravo fandom,” said Evan Moore, Senior Vice President, Commercial Partnerships, NBCUniversal Advertising & Partnerships. “By including shopping experiences in key moments when fans live Bravo’s life – whether it’s at BravoCon, online via our properties, or in the metaverse with the enhanced Bravo Bazaar – we can achieve true connection and impact for our partners that go beyond screen and shows.”

Bravo’s list of approved brands includes Lashaholics, Literie Candles, and Verishop, as well as other brands motivated by network stars such as Sewing Down South, LoverBoy, and CaraGala. Products and services include retail, beauty, apparel, and home décor, among other categories.

At TRESemmé’s BravoCon salon, attendees can “get Bravolebrity-style hair,” according to Jessica Gregorio, head of cosmetic marketing and portfolio manager for the hair care brand’s Salon & Masstige. Salon and shopping opportunity goes beyond Konn as well. “We are excited to expand these shoppable experiences to Bravo fans around the world using QR code technology on site in-salon and on air with Live Look In on Bravo and a branded band on Watch What Happens Live,” she explained.

Altogether, according to the NBCU, “Bravoholics” everywhere will be able to shop for their favorite looks and styles.

It’s an ambitious move, but the company has plenty of reason to be optimistic. In previous research, the company indicated that consumers who participated in its brand innovations were 88 percent more likely to remember related brands, and 79 percent less likely to change channels. Shopping activations, specifically, have shown the poor effectiveness of traditional advertising.

The media giant, apparently encouraged by the numbers, appears to be doubling down on shopping and even expanding its reach beyond the initiative’s original premise.

The company’s shoppable TV initiative rolled out in 2019, and it started with QR codes on TV screens to direct viewers to an e-commerce storefront. Over time, it added to its collection of sports shows, events, and products, eventually turning its attention to the metaverse. Last year’s virtual Bravo Bazaar preceded other announcements — and more recently, it introduced new augmented reality features for immersive ad experiences and partnerships with virtual platforms like Shop the Scenes, which will launch its “Today” pop-up offer for the holidays.

NBCU is betting on its passionate TV fan base to power it all. In fact, fan communities have become a major priority for commerce platforms in general, especially given their tendency to drive activity and shopping in the virtual world.

However, the metaverse is only one aspect of BravoCon. Indeed, the multi-platform effort blends broadcast and reality TV, online and immersive virtual experiences, including a strategy that resembles an enlarged version of multi-channel retail. But rather than just merging physical and digital platforms, the play quad adds more literal dimensions to the equation.

Bottom line: While some platforms and brands may still struggle with omnichannel retailing or contemplate their place in the metaverse, there is a multiverse of shopping already in the works.

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