NBCUniversal’s “One Platform” shoppable TV initiative plans to take Bravo beyond mere commerce and television. On Monday, the company revealed that this week’s BravoCon 2022 in New York will traverse multiple consumer experiences in the real, digital and virtual worlds.
This year’s Bravo Bazaar will offer fans of “Real Housewives,” “Top Chef,” “Below Deck” and other shows more than 60 brands at its on-site event, with transactions powered by NBCUniversal checkout, while others explore an “enhanced” metaverse version. Staged with recreations of sets from favorite shows and studded with shoppable products, the virtual event, which launched last year, will be four times larger this time. TRESemmé, a featured brand partner, will also sponsor a real-world salon with products that people can shop in-person and online.
“NBCUniversal has a keen pulse on the wants and needs of the Bravo fandom,” said Evan Moore, senior vice president of commerce partnerships at NBCUniversal Advertising & Partnerships division. “By embedding shoppable experiences within key moments where fans are living out the Bravo life — whether it’s at BravoCon, online across our properties, or in the metaverse with the enhanced Bravo Bazaar — we can drive genuine connection and impact for our partners that transcend the screen and the shows.”
The list of Bravo-approved brands includes Lashaholics, Literie Candles and Verishop brands, plus others spurred by the network’s stars such as Sewing Down South, LoverBoy and CaraGala. Products and services span retail, beauty, apparel and home decor, among other categories.
At TRESemmé’s BravoCon Salon, event attendees can “achieve Bravolebrity-styled hair,” according to Jessica Grigoriou, the hair care brand’s head of beauty marketing and Salon & Masstige portfolio director. The salon and shopping opportunity goes beyond the Con as well. “We’re excited to extend these shoppable experiences to Bravo fans around the world using QR code technology on-site within the salon and on-air utilizing a Live Look In on Bravo and a branded bar on ‘Watch What Happens Live,’” she explained.
Altogether, according to 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 noted that consumers engaged with its Commercial Innovations were 88 percent more likely to remember relevant brands, and 79 percent were less likely to change channels. Shopping activations, specifically, showed twice the efficacy of traditional advertisements.
The media giant, apparently emboldened by the numbers, seems to be doubling down on shopping and expanding it even beyond the initiative’s original premise.
Introduced in 2019, the company’s shoppable TV initiative began with QR codes on TV screens to funnel viewers into its e-commerce storefront. Over time it added to its lineup of shows, sporting events and products, eventually turning its attention to the metaverse. Last year’s virtual Bravo Bazaar preceded other announcements — most recently, it introduced new augmented reality features for immersive ad experiences and partnerships with virtual platforms such as Shop the Scenes, which will launch a “Today” show holiday pop-up.
NBCU is betting on its passionate TV fan base to power it all. Indeed, fan communities have become a major priority for commerce platforms in general, especially given their propensity to drive activity and shopping in the virtual world.
However, the metaverse is only one facet of BravoCon. Indeed, the multiplatform effort blends broadcast TV with real world, online and immersive virtual experiences, comprising a strategy that’s akin to an amplified version of omnichannel retail. But instead of merely fusing physical and digital platforms, the quadruple play adds more literal dimensionality to the equation.
The takeaway: While some platforms and brands may still struggle with omnichannel retail or mull over their place in the metaverse, there’s a multiverse of shopping that’s already underway.