Thursday, 6 December 2012

Juicy Couture: Product placement meets shopping on YouTube

Sunbathing by the pool in a tiny bikini, supermodel Candice Swanepoel daydreams of fabulous parties where even the cats wear jewelry… your typical fashion video, except you can buy the Juicy Couture items without leaving the page!

YouTube has started testing a new feature that embeds external links into its videos allowing viewers to shop for products while watching the media. While many product categories can take advantage of this, women’s fashion has taken the lead. Juicy Couture and ASOS have both recently used the new capability to create YouTube videos that resemble moving catalogues or ‘shoppable’ videos.

Without going into the details of the above advertising video message, style and execution (their target clearly 20-something), the use of the technology is very innovative. For marketers, this integrates many steps into one experience – product viewing, demonstration and purchase – and has the potential for much higher ad conversions.

Advertising creatives agree the thinking is spot-on, but say the execution has a lot of room for improvement. Every time the viewer clicks on a product he/she is interested in, the video stops, interrupting the whole experience. “This is the Sony Walkman of ecommerce and video,” says Darrell Whitelaw, Executive Creative Director at IPG Media Lab, which has Google as one their clients.

While Target has produced a short-film that allows users click on products and add them to a shopping cart for later purchase without interrupting the experience, a purchase from within videos, not just add items into a cart, without busting the experience is still to be perfected.

What implications does this technology advancement have for marketing, when brand awareness, evaluation and purchase are all blended into one experience?

Adriana Heinzen
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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