Late last year, retailer Target made its big online play by releasing a 'shoppable' Web TV series starring well-known Hollywood actors. I have since been wondering if they provided us an advanced view of the future of advertising.
'Falling For You' could pass as your typical TV show. It has actors Kristen Bell, Nia Long, and Zachary Abel. It has a script and storyline. It is set in Manhattan, New York.
The difference is that as you are watching the show at http://fallingforyou.target.com/ using your web browser, the right of your screen features a scrolling array of the clothing and accessories the stars are wearing during the specific scene.
Target's user interface allows you to add these goods to your 'favorites', which you can bring up later and buy direct from Target's website.
It is definitely visionary. But it is also entirely possible, as the worlds of TV and Online continue to amalgamate.
All major TV manufacturers, like Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG, are building all current and future sets with 'Smart' technology built-in, including Wi-Fi, web browsers and apps. Also, we have Google TV and Apple TV becoming more prevalent in homes, while Play Stations and similar gaming consules are web-enabled.
This opens the door for the Target 'shoppable' concept to be stretched onto series that are better known and already on TV.
I can only imagine how much fun my wife would have had if this was available during 'Sex and the City' days. I personally wouldn't mind adding one of Harvey Specter's ties to my 'favorites' while watching 'Suits'.
This opens up huge possibilities, and moreso, it could secure the future of TV advertising by answering its need to be more measurable. All clicks will naturally be tracked in 'shoppable' viewing and advertisers may begin paying for TV ads similar to how they pay for online ads - using an infinitely more measured 'pay per click' or 'pay per impression' system.
'Falling For You' was a great piece of visionary innovation by Target. I am very excited about where this can go as the worlds of TV and Online further amalgamate over coming years.