By Jane Han
Amid the slowing profits among local home shopping businesses, celebrity brand tags have been shown to be hit-making tickets that are said to be churning out a three-way win situation.
``Celebrities make big money, home shopping businesses get a sales boost and consumers get introduced to trustworthy products,'' CJ Home Shopping spokesman Kim Sung-jung said, adding that celebrity branding has a synergy effect.
The country's second-largest home shopping retailer's top celebrity item is actress Lee Hae-young's fashion wear ``Missing Dorothy.''
Since its launch in March 2004, the clothing line has enjoyed solid annual sales of more than 12 billion won.
Fashionable actress Lee Seung-yeon has also made it big with her brand ``About el,'' which rang up an impressive first on-air sales of 1.4 billion won.
``Female celebrities who are known to be trend leaders get a lot of immediate attention from shoppers who, too, want to be stylish,'' said Kim. ``However, the immediate attention doesn't mean it leads to automatic success.''
He added that unlike before, celebrities nowadays participate in every step of the process, including planning, making, selling after services _ all part of taking responsibility over their name.
``Lee Hae-young is precise with every detail of her brand. She takes part in all the meetings and comes to all the studio shoots to make sure things go just right,'' said Kim. ``A successful brand doesn't come easy.''
Over at the No. 1 player GS Home Shopping, veteran actress Kim Soo-mi's new kimchi brand, which debuted earlier this month and aired three times, is already out of stock.
``The reaction has been amazing and we're hurrying to restock to meet consumer demand,'' said GS Home Shopping Spokesman Ted Kim, adding that although the food product was the most recent hit, the all-time favorite among shoppers is the yellow earth facial face mask introduced by middle-aged actress Kim Young-ae.
The cosmetics product that debuted in 2002 has reached a total sales of 150 billion won up to January of this year, said Kim.
``Because celebrities have a certain preset image, consumers have a tendency to get drawn to them much more and much faster,'' he said, stressing that to maintain ongoing sales, it's crucial for the product quality to live up to the brand name.
Actress Hwang Sin-hye's lingerie line, model Hong Jin-kyung's kimchi product ``The Kimchi,'' and model Lee So-ra's fitness wear are some of the lines of goods on the market, and industry insiders say many more are planned for the fall season.
Other home shopping retailers, including Hyundai, Lotte and Woori are also gearing up to promote celebrity-created brands.
``It's no longer the age of celebrity-endorsement, but celebrity-creation,'' said Kim at CJ. ``After all, these celebs are already a brand themselves to begin with.''
Model Hong Jin-kyung, right, appears in a CJ Home Shopping program to promote “The Mandoo,” a dumpling product that is an addition to her “The Kimchi” brand.
/ Courtesy of CJ Home Shopping