AMC hopes that when viewers aren’t watching its new “Interview with The Vampire” series, they’ll be shopping it instead.
The media company, which has made a significant investment in the “Vampire Chronicles” and “Lives of the Mayfair Witches” properties devised by author Anne Rice, is opening a virtual boutique with items all related to the first series in the new venture. “Interview With The Vampire” is slated to debut on Sunday, October 2, the same day the shopping outlet, known as “Night Market,” goes online.
Bedding, sleep masks, “forever flowers,” and even a casket are available for purchase, notes Kim Granito, an executive vice president of integrated marketing for AMC Networks who is overseeing the project, devised by the company’s Content Room, a brand studio. “You don’t have to be dead to enjoy them,” she says of the vampire-related goods.
The “Night Market” will only be open between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Visitors who try to peruse its goods during daylight hours will be told to return after sunset.
The boutique marks TV’s latest flirtation with e-commerce, which some executives in the industry see as a new line of revenue worth developing as traditional categories of cash flow, such as advertising and syndication, become less stable. Both ABC and NBC have made e-commerce a part of the digital operations of A.M. franchises “Today” and “Good Morning America. NBCUniversal, for its part, has over the past few years ramped up its efforts to sell goods via efforts done through networks like Bravo and Syfy.
“We thought this was buzzy and fun, and with our investment in the Anne Rice universe, we really wanted to launch something with series one, season one that had longevity and room to grow,” says Granito, adding that the initiative “is being built from the underground up.”
“Interview With the Vampire,” based on Rice’s 1976 novel, takes the audience through the centuries-old life of vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac as told to a journalist. The book was turned into a 1994 film that starred Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst. The TV series features Jacob Anderson, Sam Reid, Bailey Bass and Eric Bogosian.
AMC is teaming up with a group of specialty retailers to fill the “Night Market’s” virtual shelves. The store will include items from, Blissy, a maker of silk goods; The Million Roses , Eternal Flame, a candle manufacturer; and Magill Los Angeles, a maker of men’s apparel.
Preparations for the “Night Market” launch have taken around a year, says Granito. Executives had to find appropriate products and retailers and manufacturers who wanted to take part, and also look into production and licensing.
In the future, says Granito, AMC might try to align advertisers with the store. “In season two, that might be something we might want to play with,” she says.