ZeeboxZeebox have started to offer ‘click to buy’ ads that will allow people using their second screen service to buy products while they’re being advertised on TV. The initial trials will initially focus on the UK’s ITV but ads will soon be extended to other channels.

Every time a viewer sees a TV ad, a corresponding click-to-buy button will appear in real-time via the Zeebox tags. Each of these tags will feature an icon that alerts the viewer to the type of ad product, whether it is a song, product, travel service. After clicking on the tag the viewer will be taken to a retailer’s product page, or to the advertiser’s website for more information.

Below you’ll notice the ads for Flora and Colgate in the ‘Live Zeetags’ column on the right – the links lead to the products’ page on Tesco’s site:

Zeebox Click-to-Buy Ads

Zeebox hope to be able to provide brands with more insight into the effectiveness of their TV campaigns while providing measureable performance tracking.

“Our consumer research told us that people want an easy way to buy things they see on TV. We’re delighted to launch this capability, seamlessly integrated into our user interface, making Zeebox an even better companion TV experience,” said Ernesto Schmitt, CEO of Zeebox.

He added: “This is the first truly scalable approach to transaction-enabling TV advertising across all ad categories. Consumers get the convenience of being able to react instantly to a TV advert, while brands benefit from shortening the distance between ad impression and product purchase.”

Possible Implications of Click to Buy

Increased interactivity is going to have a profound effect on TV advertising in the coming years and the industry will have to ensure advertisers are educated about the role interactive features play.

While more data for measurement is welcome, it’s also important that advertisers don’t become too focused on whether or not their ads are generating an immediate response. In display advertising, ‘click worship’ has caused a variety of problems, to the point where the brand benefits of display are often overlooked and in many cases not even properly measured.

Click-based metrics can also incentivise bad behaviour, as agencies are tempted into creating more obtrusive ads, or fail to place a frequency cap on the number of times they retarget a user – none of which does the brand or campaign measurement any favours.

Perhaps the TV industry is different in that it already has established and trusted brand metrics, but – rightly or wrongly – it seems inevitable that some advertisers will start to look for more immediate results and judge brand campaign performance even more quanitatively.

Retailers are also going to have to adapt. At first glance it seems unlikely consumers are going to want to go through the online checkout process for inexpensive FMCGs, so ‘add to shopping list’ features will have to become more prominent and easy to use (perhaps a standard shopping list that can be used across different sites?), although many consumers will undoubtedly simply continue shopping once they’re on a site.

Retail mobile and connected TV apps will also have to become integrated with second screen services and provide incentives for the consumer to continue shopping via Amazon-style recommendations for related items.

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