Remember "QVC meets MTV" hipster shopping site Honeyshed? I don't blame you if you don't. They beta launched a while back to much fanfare and some not-so-hot reviews, only to go into hibernation before getting out of beta or attracting much of an audience.
Well, they're back -- totally revamped and raring to go.
Bankrolled by Publicis and billed as "Home Shopping for the Digital Generation," Honeyshed rolls on-demand videos of cool(ish), (at least somewhat) attractive young people pitching everything from t-shirts and panties to gadgets and DVDs. The site comes with all the usual social media trappings -- viewers can review products, share them on social sites and even submit videos of themselves hawking their own stuff. And has a clear, well executed e-commerce tie-in -- you can click through to the sponsors' own commerce engines to buy whatever you like or "stash" products you might be interested in buying later. The content doesn't seem to be as weird and off-putting as I remember from the first launch, but it still has a clear post-YouTube sensibility (but thankfully, old school post-MTV production values.)
So will Honeyshed work this time? That depends on whether or not the team can lure in enough paying sponsors interested in having their products showcased on segments. No sponsors; no revenue; no content... And if Honeyshed is gonna pull this off, they'll need to attract a sizable audience in the right demographic.
So the real question is: will the new Honeyshed appeal to the digital generation?
Did the gang at Honeyshed get the tone right this time? Will twenty-somethings log on for their daily dose of a hipper Home Shopping Network? Will Gen Y and Millenials find the paid-for pitches credible, and does this even matter so long as it's clear that that's exactly what they're tuning in for? Is this even how people shop anymore?
Let's ask some of them. I'm hoping that my favorite honeybee, a real live digital girl, a social media guy and the smartest USC marketing grad student I know will be willing to give it a whirl and chime in. While we're at it, I wonder whether Aronado thinks Honeyshed is lucky or sucky.
And of course I'd love to hear from the rest of you too -- what do you think?
Disclosure: I used to work at Publicis-owned Digitas and personally know some of the current Honeyshed management team. I left before Honeyshed launched and I don't owe them nothin'. :-)