Tag Archives: online shopping

Using Nicole Kidman to demonstrate the future of advertising on TV

The future of video advertising is via clickable interactive links embedded within the video. I promise. This Nike campaign for it’s new look book is a pretty basic idea but executed really nicely.

Imagine this: You know the Chanel Advert with Nicole Kidman in Paris? Well imagine if you were watching that on your connected television, and at any single point you could use your remote control to stop the advert and it would give you information about what was on screen at that given second.

It would go like this: Nicole Kidman is stood (for example) outside the Eiffel Tower. Wearing a vintage Chanel dress from 1923. The car in the background is a vintage Rolls Royce and she is wearing gold eye shadow (I’m making this up) I pause the video and I can click on any of the above objects and either buy them or find information out about them.

So in pausing the advert during that particular shot and clicking on the Eiffel Tower I am directed to let’s say the Trip Advisor website which pulls in an article about Paris (or a Guardian Travel article, Frommers guide etc). Which ever brand wanted to be associated with ‘Paris’ would pay on a PPC basis.

Then I get bored of looking at Paris, so I click on the dress and I am directed to the Chanel website which gives me a brief history of the dress. In 1923 Coco Chanel wore the exact dress to a party where she talked to Winston Churchill. Didn’t know that before I watched the advert. Wow- I’m starting to like Chanel even more.  I want to buy into the heritage of the brand.  The Chanel website then suggests that I may like the gold eyeshadow. So I buy it online on my internet enabled TV. Chanel eyeshadows are about £18. Now imagine if every advert you watched had every single object and location tagged- you could pause it at any point and buy any object on your screen. Ker ching.

I don’t have time at this moment to think about the moralistic element of this idea/reality by the way. But I will and I’ll re edit the post as and when.

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Let’s all go to China

A great post by Patrik from Made by Many about the untapped potential for western brands in this gargantuan market. Click here to read it.

I went to a talk at Channel 4 a few months ago called ‘Is China the next media superpower?’ A television producer was on the panel who was responsible for bringing the American Idol format to China. She explained that there were many western formats that would work well in China,  the ones that they had bought the rights to so far were extremely successful. There were two problems though, other networks in China were creating ‘copy cat’ programs  and there was not a great deal of legislation to stop them.

Secondly, the political landscape of this vast country prohibits popular western shows from being recreated. The example used was the BBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ In China, the idea of tracing ones family tree isn’t as simple as it sounds. People here still operate under the watchful eye of the state. Remember, whilst the country is seeing dramatic urbanization and wealth creation, Google doesn’t/won’t operate here, internet usage is monitored and speaking out against the government is a massive no-no. You may want to read about the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei who did so and was imprisoned. Find out about him here.

Westerners setting up TV production companies, social media agencies and creating a brand presence in China will no doubt have a lot to learn about the intricacies of Chinese life, but the overwhelming feeling from the panel was that yes, it could be the next media superpower. There is certainly a lot of money to be made, China has adapted itself to become the global hub for manufacturing, property prices are booming and it has the single biggest online user base in the world. Will it’s censorship also impede it’s media growth? Judging by the country’s rapid rise despite censorship, it doesn’t look like it.

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This excites me. A lot.

A new website The Fancy that combines the best in gadgets, architecture, art and fashion. Users ‘fancy’ stuff and then give links to where to buy it. You can use the web, bookmark stuff or use the fancy app to upload photos. All the things you like are collated into a list which appears on your profile. Could it be possibly the best gift finder in the world? This start up is already being dubbed ‘The Facebook of Stuff’ and Ashton Kutcher is a member. If you like quirky things, you’ll love this.

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Clicks Vs Bricks

Nicola Radin

Premium prices for a premium service? Will having an online shop take away from the personal touch or enhance it?

The BBC recently broadcast a documentary following a year in John Lewis as it combats the recession. The last episode shows John Lewis launching three new types of shops; the new Cardiff department store (the biggest one in Wales), John Lewis at home store and a new website for online shopping. The documentary shows how they are trying to find their feet in the twenty first century whilst retaining brand identity. 

The new Cardiff store was commissioned pre recession and it stands for the heart of a brand nearly a hundred years old, but this mode of shopping is slightly outdated. Demand is no longer there, as the Internet offers boundless space for shopping. The Internet now acts as the world’s biggest department store, one space for all consumer needs. Department stores are no longer required, recognising this John Lewis has started a new venture; John Lewis at home.

As early as 2005 John Lewis’s online store was one of Britain’s top five online retailers. Last year the online store was earning roughly £100 ml more than their flagship Oxford Street store. Bearing these figures in mind they decided to revamp and expand their website dramatically. For the first time they have a range online that will match range in store maximising their online presence. Wanting to keep the personal touch of the brand John Lewis has put helpful videos on their website that informs the customer more about the product. The profits are sure to soar but will customers still want to pay for a virtual service?

Two sets of customers were followed in the documentary, showing their shopping experiences. The first lady went to John Lewis to check out the products receiving help and advice from an employee with a no pressure to buy attitude. Later it transpires she purchased her goods online from a rival company. Considering she bought the products from an online company she states somewhat naively that stores will always be there to look at the products before buying them online. Looking at her purchasing habits this may not always be the case. She wants the premium service without paying for the products, unfortunately business’s cannot survive on thin air. She maybe benefiting from the best of both worlds at the moment but will this attitude cost her in the end?

At the other end of the spectrum the documentary follows the silver surfers as they are affectionately known, buying a new kitchen. They prefer to look at the items online before going in store to buy them, saying that buying online does not give the same experience as buying in store. They use the internet to research products and making sure they are in stock instead of potentially having a wasted journey to the store and leaving empty handed. Buying their kitchen in store gave them reassurance, even when the fitting of the kitchen there were always employees on hand to help. As Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis says near the end of the documentary that he thinks the online shop will enhance customer experience, in the case of these two silver surfers he is right.

Customers clearly still love the personal touch but unfortunately for John Lewis not all are willing to pay premium prices. The new digital native generation has been brought up with ‘free’ and the internet provides so much for nothing.

Can John Lewis persuade this generation that quality of service costs? The senior management is so caught up on the brand identity and giving ‘the personal touch’ they haven’t considered that customers might not want to pay for it any more. Only time will tell as John Lewis ventures forth into the new millennium.

The controversial campaign run by Dixons....funny though.

Nicola Radin is a freelance writer based in Manchester UK

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