direct sales venture of the media and entertainment group, Network18, has called for a creative pitch. The media duties will be handled either in-house or by the the media agency of a group company.
Sundeep Malhotra, chief executive officer, HomeShop18 says, "It's been a month since we launched the TV channel. The objectives of the creative pitch are establishing a marketing strategy, customer engagement, building brand equity and customer recruitment. It is essential to bring on an agency which understands the intricacies of the concept."
Agencies such as Publicis India, Grey and M&C Saatchi have already joined in the race for the business. With the pitch beginning next week, Malhotra expects more agencies to consider pitching for the creative duties of the brand.
Malhotra explains, "The agency's task would be to bring alive a concept which the country has never seen, so as to get customers 'recruited' in the true sense. It is a completely new genre, and the content would be a mix of entertainment and infotainment."
HomeShop18, through its new and unique television channel, would be about live selling, through a demonstrative route. It is about putting a distribution platform in place for branded and guaranteed products across 19 product categories. The products would be delivered to the customer free of cost, at their doorstep, across 1600 cities of India.
In August 2007, the company did a pre-launch testing of the brand and its viability online. It launched its website in the beta phase for a duration of six months. The venture began with free delivery of flowers, soon diversified its product line by adding cameras, MP3 players, DVD players, computer and peripherals, gaming devices, consumer electronics, apparel, jewellery, toys, and more.
Talking about the market Malhotra explains that it is too soon to quantify an unoragnised and fragmented category such as this.
Home shopping as a category includes billion dollar companies such as ebay and Amazon.com. TV-based home shopping companies such as Asian Sky Shop and Telebrands market products in India. These companies run short 'infomercials'- television commercials that run as long as a typical television program, and are normally shown outside peak hours. There is no full fledged 24 hour shopping channel in India at the moment, and HomeShop18 will be the first in the category.
Apart from players present on television, e-commerce based websites such as Storeguru, Futurebazaar, Sify and indiatimes.com have been operating in India for a decade.