September 16, 2011, 4:19 PM

Reality TV, retail-style

Online apparel retailer Karmaloop wants its own cable TV show.

Allison Enright

Editor

Lead Photo

In its quest to not only drum up interest in its clothes but extend its online video channel Karmaloop TV to actual television sets, online apparel retailer Karmaloop.com is asking its fan base to tell the world—and perhaps more pertinently, cable executives—what they think about current programming. The e-retailer this week launched ReclaimYourTV.com, a web site where consumers can post videos and Twitter messages that make them eligible to win prizes, including a shopping spree on Karmaloop.com.

The ReclaimYourTV.com initiative coincides with Karmaloop.com’s drive to launch a 24-hour cable TV channel called Karmaloop TV in 2012; Karmaloop will use the videos and messages from ReclaimYourTV.com in pitches to persuade cable executives to add Karmaloop TV to their offerings.

The e-retailer, which markets apparel and accessories aimed at fashion-savvy 18- to 34-year-olds, and is No. 180 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, launched Karmaloop TV in 2008 as an online entertainment network. The company projects KarmaloopTV.com will attract 40 million views this year. KarmaloopTV.com features 25 channels of programming that focus on music, fashion, art and other themes that appeal to Karmaloop’s consumer base. Karmaloop TV’s creative director is Grammy-award winning rapper and producer Pharrell Williams.

Greg Selkoe, CEO and founder of Karmaloop.com, says ReclaimYourTV.com enables young consumers to share their ideas on what the future of television should be. “It will serve to raise awareness and showcase the voice of this demographic, giving cable providers authentic insight on how to keep this generation tuned in to television,” he says.

Consumers visiting Karmaloop.com can connect to KarmaloopTV.com to watch programming or to ReclaimYourTV.com to submit their own. Visitors to ReclaimYourTV.com can click a thumbs-up icon next to each video or Twitter post to express approval. Each week, Karmaloop will award the creators of the videos and tweets that get the most votes such prizes as a $2,500 shopping spree for the most-approved video and $1,000 for the most-approved tweet. Prizes also include Karmaloop tote bags and T-shirts featuring designs from Shepard Fairey, the street artist behind the popular “Hope” poster used during President Obama’s election campaign.

Karmaloop.com, which expects its e-retail sales to reach $130 million this year, will promote the ReclaimYourTV.com contest via its e-mail distribution list, which includes 2 million consumers. It will also promote it via social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The retailer also says its Karmaloop Rep force will conduct offline marketing tactics like nightclub events and distributing marketing material to consumers on the streets of major cities. The company says its 85,000-member Karmaloop Rep force helps to generate approximately 20% of Karmaloop.com’s total retail sales.

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