February 24, 2012, 4:02 PM

E-retailer HauteLook launches its first TV ad campaign

The Nordstrom-owned flash sale retailer will run ads on such networks as Bravo and E!

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Flash-sale e-retailer HauteLook this week launched its first TV ad campaign, a national effort that will last seven weeks and includes commercials on such cable networks as BBC America, Bravo, E!, HGTV and VH1. HauteLook, which was bought by Nordstrom Inc. about a year ago, will spend a seven-figure sum on the campaign, says Greg Bettinelli, HauteLook’s senior vice president of marketing. The sum includes production costs and the TV airtime, a HauteLook spokeswoman says.

HauteLook is No. 156 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Nordstrom is No. 34.

The flash-sale provider hopes the ads attract women between the ages of 25 and 40. One spot, entitled “Promise,” features a young blonde woman on a couch in a sparse but expensive-looking dwelling who uses a laptop to check out HauteLook  deals on several days. The camera focuses on such items as her shoes, rugs and a dress to show products that consumers might buy. Text on the screen reads, “New Brands Every Day.”

Bettinelli says HauteLook didn’t want to come across as too “discount” or goofy. Last year, daily deal provider Groupon, in its first TV campaign, ran an ad during the Super Bowl that many consumers though made light of suffering in Tibet.

“HauteLook is dedicated to the ‘California casual chic’ style, with an inclusive, aspirational feel,” Bettinelli tells Internet Retailer. “We wanted the spot to really reflect the casual, approachable sophistication of our brand and our members.”

HauteLook has a 30-second and a 15-second spot ready for air, but so far, he says, the shorter ad has not appeared on television. “We believe TV gives us more real estate to communicate who we are and what we offer to the widest audience,” he says. “We’ve acquired well over 7 million members with a very disciplined, ROI-driven marketing plan that to date has not included TV. However, the time was right for us to invest in high-quality production and a targeted media buy that will really convey a premium HauteLook message.”

HauteLook will measure the effectiveness of the ads by comparing the number of consumer sign-ups that take place immediately after spots run with the number of normal sign-ups, he says. HauteLook attracts approximately 10,000 new members each day.

The ads were created by California-based Stun Creative with no involvement from HauteLook’s parent company. “Nordstrom is very interested to see how this campaign performs, but they were not involved in the creation, production or media planning for the spot,” Bettinelli says.

Kevin Diamond, HauteLook’s chief technology officer, will speak at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in a session entitled “My web site is down! Why the Internet doesn’t always work and what this means for your business.”

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