ABC, HSN Hope Soap Fans Tune Into Jewelry Offer

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The Home Shopping Network and ABC are joining forces to market copies of jewelry worn by characters on "All My Children" in an effort to entice the soap's loyal fans to open their pocketbooks.


ABC and HSN will offer four jewelry items this month, one each week, with an average value of $30. Each piece of jewelry has appeared on "All My Children" during the past few months. The effort is a test to see whether HSN's marketing muscle partnered with ABC's base of 3.5 million "All My Children" viewers can generate substantial commerce. If the campaign, dubbed "Shop the Soaps," is successful, HSN may seek a more permanent partnership with ABC, said Brad Galinson, vice president of new business development at HSN.


"Our infrastructure and our skills in marketing and fulfillment combine with ABC's terrific skills in audience and content," Galinson said.


HSN will offer the items during special shopping times, such as the two-hour "Sunrise" show, which runs from 7 to 9 a.m. twice a week. HSN features clips from "All My Children" and urges viewers to watch the soap.


The first item offered was a star pendant worn by Cady McClain, who plays Dixie. McClain's on-screen husband, Tad, played by Michael E. Knight, gave the pendant to her last month. HSN is repeating the clip of the tearful scene in which McClain's character gets the pendant. Promotional copy on ABC's Web site, ABC.com, tells the story behind the tears.


"On the July 17 episode of 'All My Children,' Tad was questioned as a suspect in the murder of drug dealer Dwight Sweeney," the site reads. "Standing by her husband, Dixie vowed to do anything in her power to help Tad. Sitting in his car outside the police station, Tad gave Dixie a diamond star necklace as a token of his love for her. Tad told Dixie that the necklace reminded him of their 'wishing star' because 'it always shined bright, it was constant and it would always help her find her way home.' "


HSN plans to take advantage of upsell opportunities and offer matching accessories, including earrings, a bracelet and rings for the star pendant.


During commercial breaks, ABC is promoting the jewelry offer through a toll-free number and on its Web site but is not referring viewers to HSN. While HSN benefits from partnering with "All My Children," such cross-promotion would not be beneficial to ABC, Galinson said. The network has a strong brand in the goings-on of Pine Valley, where the soap is set, and that brand could be confused by references to outside media products. ABC and HSN will share the revenue from the sales.


While declining to release specifics, Galinson said the first few days of the test have gone "better than expected." If the rest of the month continues as successfully, HSN may apply the concept to other products. However, he does not want to turn a long-running soap opera into an hour-long commercial.


"We want to do it in a tasteful way," he said. "We don't want to go overboard."


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