Friday, March 4, 2011

COD: With Hyperspots, Rachel’s sweater is finally clickable!

Thanks to ad:tech for publishing this first.

If you were in the business in the early- to mid-aught decade, you probably saw a demo of vaporware technology that would let the consumer click on a thing in a video (it was always an orangey pink sweater worn by Rachel from Friends) and see how and where you could buy it. There it was, in the online store of Express or Macy’s or wherever.

The technology was always touted as being just a few months away (like rocket jetpacks in the 1950s) but it never seemed to actually materialize. At least no one I know remembers actually seeing it.

But now I have. Hyperspots lets you buy an actress’s sweater, or her hair care products, or her mascara, or or or, simply by clicking the vid. Their player features a vid on the left, and a shopping slate on the right that displays availability info for the things you click. Hyperspots is a company based in Venice, CA.

There’s a working demo on their front page.

Technology like this opens up a world of advertainment that lets consumers volunteer to get more info about products and services available from marketers. Obviously this could work in apparel, but it’s also easy to see how home furnishings, or recipe food ingredients, or cars, or cleaning products could be marketed in this manner.

Their site positions it as an advertising replacement:

No more annoying and disruptive ads interrupting the viewing experience, Hyperspots puts your target audience in control. At anytime, anywhere in the media, a viewer can click to find out more information. By creating a new enriched clickable world, Hyperspots empowers the audience and enables advertising by choice!

Hyperspots technology creates a unique advertising opportunity geared toward engaged viewers willing to know more about the content. This efficient approach leads to high click-through rates, great conversion and very happy end-users.

Personally I don’t see it as an advertising replacement but rather as a supplement to enhance shopping and browsing experiences with entertaining video content that shows products in use versus on mannequins in web site gifs. It’s a virtual runway with instant access to a means to learn and buy.

Such videos might run on your site or on content sites. Each could offer an opportunity to more deeply engage with consumers who WANT to know more about the products and services you are promoting. ANd maybe even are itchin' to buy.

I don’t expect people will want Rachel’s sweater anymore – what with the show having been cancelled so many years ago and fashion having moved on a scosh. But as a new merchandising methodology, it holds the same promise today as it did when the concept first excited us years ago.

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