Shopping from your TV is being taken to the next level with the upcoming partnership between Target and TBS comedy show, Cougar Town. And by TV shopping, we’re not referring to the late night infomercials selling kitchen knives that can cut through concrete. Target is actually turning your TV show into an online shopping experience timed with product placement within the episode.
So how does it work? Target products will be featured in upcoming episodes of Cougar Town. As the episode airs, it is concurrently broadcast on ShopCougarTown.com. As viewers see a product they like that on the show, they can click a red flashing square next to the product on the ShopCougarTown.com broadcast. Viewers are then redirected to Target.com, where they can purchase the item and see other items featured on the show.
This new development in TV advertising blurs the line between the traditional TV show and commercial break. The TV episode in itself is becoming the commercial at the same time. And while some consumers may loath commercial breaks and be thankful for their existence only for the sake of snacks and bathroom breaks, the idea of expanding on product placement within the TV show may be something that resonates with consumers who are turned off by traditional commercials. Additionally, the instantaneous ability for viewers to immediately view featured products satisfies the sense of immediacy that consumers desire.
Wanting products that are seen on the television is nothing new. Websites like WornOnTV.com and ShopYourTV.com allow viewers to search outfits worn on their favorite TV shows and provides links to retailers’ websites. Target is now making that process more streamlined, allowing viewers to make the connection immediately while still following along with the show as they shop. They are also taking advantage of the 60% of Americans who watch TV and surf the web simultaneously.
While this new partnership between Target and Cougar Town is experimental and they have yet to indicate if it has monetized or not – it shows the innovation in native advertising and engaging consumers in a multi screened world.
“This is a lighthouse project for marketers and demonstrates how brands can move beyond the historical confines of an ‘ad break,’ engage consumers within the premium television content experience, and generate new revenue streams around TV”