Forget the fancy products and gadgets that they sell, the immediate attractions on Star CJ Alive’s premium 24x7 shopping channel, launched last week, are the fabulously manicured fingers of the hosts. You look at your own chipped nails in dismay while the camera pans on the long, tapering fingers, coated carefully in delicate shades of nail polish. But forget the distractions, first a dekko at the channel itself.
Star CJ Alive, launched by Star CJ Network India Pvt. Ltd, is a joint venture between Star Network India Pvt. Ltd and home shopping company CJ O Shopping Co. Ltd. The pilot phase was launched last year as a 6-hour slot on Star Utsav, another Star property. Following the upbeat response on Utsav, Star CJ Alive was started with the aim of providing shopping delights in the comfort of your home.
No, they won’t sell you any spiritual products like the ones sold on other general entertainment channels in the morning hours. So, you won’t find rudraksh malas, Lord Kuber yantras or goddess Lakshmi yantras. Far from it. You will, in fact, find cosmetics, jewellery, gadgets, small and large appliances, apparel and more. That’s similar to what HomeShop18, a home shopping channel from Network18, offers. In fact, it will be interesting to see just how Star CJ Alive fares compared with HomeShop18 in the near future.
The good stuff
Star CJ Alive has a good variety of branded products. Also, the range is huge. Given that this is a 24x7 channel, some or the other product is always on offer. The channel, in fact, wants to change the perception that television shopping is all about inferior products. Perhaps that explains why brands such as Adidas, Asmi, Geetanjali, Satya Paul, Samsung (biggies in their respective categories) have a presence on Star CJ Alive. Interestingly, prices of products from these brands are generally below the maximum retail price (MRP). It helps that the anchors explain the products in detail.
The last point in “the good stuff” bracket is what backfires here, especially after the anchors describe everything in excruciating detail. It makes you want to gag them.
They’ll talk at length about inane things. Can’t blame them. After all, Star CJ Alive dedicates 30 minutes to each brand—the same viral may be repeated several times in that period. Clearly it has sold these slots to different firms. So, a discourse on Whirlpool washing machine, for instance, will go on for half an hour. Sample this: “The maids never know how to dry clothes properly. Why do they use so much water? Why do they throw dirty water with so much force in the bathrooms?” (sic) You get the drift. There’s more, from the dhobi ruining your favourite sequinned chiffon sari to the sight of piled up clothes to the monsoon and the children, everything is discussed at length.
Like we said, a majority of the products are priced lower than the MRP. Brand Whirlpool’s 6.5kg semi-automatic machine, for instance, is priced at Rs6,999 on the channel, while the MRP is Rs7,300. And though the price difference isn’t much, Star CJ Alive throws in freebies worth Rs4,500. So, along with a handbag, you’ll get a branded Reebok watch free. The channel’s offering on mobile phones and other gadgets is also attractive. A Samsung Corby mobile phone model is up for grabs at Rs6,599, while it retails at around Rs8,500. And yes—you guessed it—freebies are available on this product too. A Samsung microwave is available at Rs8,990, much lower than its MRP of Rs9,990. The products, most of them, come with warranty periods, just as they would in physical-format stores.