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On the reality TV show Love Island, participants hope to find a match. For viewers, there’s now a chance to bring home new products.
When the new season of Love Island USA debuts on the NBC-owned streaming platform Peacock on July 19, it will include features that allow viewers to shop products displayed on the show. To make this possible, NBC says it is tapping the ShoppableTV offering from its One Commerce Platform. Here’s how it works:
- When shoppable items appear in the show, viewers are shown a QR code, which they can scan.
- Viewers are taken to articles on E! Online where they can browse for specific styles of the products.
- Purchases can be completed using NBCUniversal Checkout.
This new "temptation" on the island makes shopping a part of the viewing experience, while offering brands a new way to reach potential customers. Advertising has long been a part of the TV viewing experience, while product placement embedded potential buys within content. Shoppable content represents an evolution in this approach. The ability to quickly browse and buy an item takes the passive experience of watching TV, and opens up a way to actively shop.
“We’re providing audiences with a way to engage with the series by bringing them into the iconic islander fashion and extending the viewing experience,” said Jenny Groom, EVP of entertainment unscripted content at NBCUniversal, in a statement.
Centered on island themes consistent with the show, the products on view will span apparel, home décor, cosmetics and haircare. Featured brands include Quay, Yellowpop, and Kenny Flowers, Overexposed, Ghost Democracy, and Laguna Beach Textile Co.
NBCUniversal SVP of Commerce Partnerships Evan Moore called the Love Island initative “the perfect opportunity to blend together content and commerce in an engaging way for our audiences.”
"In collaboration with ITV, we had the unique opportunity to redefine shoppable, premium video by identifying which products to place in each episode, how to extend the love for the show across One Platform, and more specifically deliver what looks, or styles fans will want to re-create themselves,” Moore said. “And, Peacock has given us the ability to take ecommerce to new heights for both our audiences and partners."
Love Island USA is the stateside extension of the dating series, which was created by UK network ITV. Along with winning fans, the show has set the stage for bringing ecommerce into content in the UK, as well. Last year, ITV debuted a first-of-its-kind Shoppable TV service on Love Island in the UK. This allowed viewers to select onscreen products using their remote and buy products on a brand or retailer's website.
As the approach evolves, there’s clearly an interest in bringing all of the shopping activities into one ecosystem. With QR codes, a link to sister site E! and NBC’s checkout service, Peacock is aiming to keep viewers within its own platforms and tools. For the viewer, this can also make the process easier to navigate, and reduce steps from product discovery to checkout. Embedding the capability within an entire season also makes it a fixed part of the series, rather than an ad. It has the makings of an experiment evolving into a feature.
It’s clear that streaming services and retailers recognize opportunity in shoppable content. Another recent example is a partnership between Roku and Walmart that creates an experience in which viewers can shop in-stream ads using a remote. It also has integrations with Roku’s payment service for checkout.
Increasingly, the lines between entertainment and ecommerce are blurring.
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New advertising opportunities are being beta tested for in-store audio and product demos.
Retail media’s fast growth isn’t only limited to increasing spend. The advertising itself is also poised to appear in more places beyond ecommerce marketplaces, and even beyond the web.
The latest example comes from Walmart Connect, which is the retail media arm of the world’s largest retailer.
Walmart shared details on testing that it is completing for in-store retail media. To this point, Walmart Connect has been considered the advertising platform for Walmart’s ecommerce site. But these tests indicate that’s poised to expand.
Stores present a potent opportunity for Walmart. It has 4,700 big box locations around the U.S., and customers returned to them in droves last year. In 2022, 88% of the retailer’s customers visited Walmart stores.
Walmart Connect already has already dipped a toe into in-store advertising, with a TV wall, self-checkout ads and integrated marketing. The new pilots aim to take a step further.
“The next frontier of retail media is in-store experiences, and it’s one we’re excited to chart,” Whitney Cooper, head of omnichannel transformation at Walmart Connect, wrote in a blog post on the new tests. “But it’s still an emerging opportunity for us, as we continue to test what serves customers best and which solutions are scalable to Walmart’s size.”
Here’s a look at the two new offerings currently under beta test:
Walmart suppliers will be able to integrate product demos into campaigns across in-store and digital environments.
Product demos aren’t new to store floors, but Walmart Connect is seeking to give them an update that blends digital and physical experiences.
“Part of our test is how to enhance the omnichannel experience by bridging the physical back to digital: For example, by pairing a demo cart with QR codes that link back to a curated Walmart.com landing page so customers can find inspiration and shop their list all in one spot,” Cooper wrote.
Walmart is currently offering 120 demos at stores each weekend, and plans to scale to 1,000 by the end of 2023.
Walmart Connect will now offer advertising placements on Walmart’s in-store radio network. Suppliers will have the option to purchase ads by region or store, enabling targeting of key markets.
“This is the first time brands will be able to speak directly to Walmart customers through this medium,” Cooper writes. “These ads also create a new upper-funnel touchpoint for brand marketers and out-of-home (OOH) buyers to create awareness, because in-store audio is about connecting with customers wherever they are in the store — they don’t have to pass the brand in the aisle.”
With the tests, we’ll be watching for how this advertising is measured, and whether Walmart Connect is tracking impact across different types of formats, and not just a single campaign.