BravoTV: The Secret To Shoppable Video Is Not The Sales

aimeeShoppable video is still a novel concept, despite the industry’s efforts to move it into the mainstream (with Google launching shoppable video on YouTube being the most recent example).

But NBCUniversal’s Bravo TV still sees the value of shoppable video. The network wanted to expand its digital business and encourage fans to return to its properties on a more regular basis, so it launched The Lookbook, a lifestyle site with branded videos (Ulta Beauty is its first brand sponsor) and content in partnership with the Bravo series “Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce.”

Each week during the live episode of “Girlfriends’,” fans are guided to visit and The Lookbook to check out styles and shop products inspired by the show’s characters. The Lookbook is also promoted across Bravo properties and apps like The Daily Dish.

“We had done some trials around shoppable products with our consumers in the past, but we felt like now was the right time given the growth of mobile,” said Aimee Viles, SVP of emerging media for Bravo and Oxygen Media.

Mobile visitation has grown in the double digits, she added.“We saw this opportunity to create an entertainment destination matching looks and styles seen in the show with trends consumers see in the marketplace,” she said.

While video is is largely a channel used for branding, by embedding shoppable images or links directly within the format, it closes the gap between awareness and conversion.

But Bravo TV thinks of shoppable video as a means of engagement, not as a sales driver.

This is because customers don’t visit the site to shop, Viles said. “We wanted engagement to come from a moment of inspiration and entertainment during the show, whether you posted to Facebook, pinned a look on Pinterest or visit The Lookbook.”

While the shoppable ads cater to mobile users,’s total digital audience grew 91% year over year, according to comScore.

As a point of reference, there were more than 9 million desktop video views on in October, not factoring in mobile. In November, there were 10.14 million unique visitors cross-platform for

Although Bravo is beginning with “Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce,” Viles noted fan interest in shopping the looks and styles from popular programs like the “Real Housewives” cast reunions.

Thus, it’s prioritizing fashion, beauty and design-related content while evaluating new formats for original/digital video content.

For instance, Bravo is featuring more “haul videos,” a format popularized by YouTube stars who “unbox” purchases and narrate the aftermath of their shopping sprees.

“It makes sense for us,” said Viles, “in everything we do, to produce video.”

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