Nifty Targeting.

American retail chain Target has released an interactive, three-episode online mini-series “Falling for You” starring actress Kristen Bell. The interactive part is that if you like something you see on screen, more than 100 products featured will be on sale until November.

I have to admit I expected a bit more interactivity. I remember the idea of interactive clips in which you could click and interact with objects on the screen being an exciting prospect back in the mid-90s when we were making interactive CD-ROMs in Director and Quicktime 2 came out with sprite tracks. I suspect that cost and time put the practical application of this idea in the too-hard basket, along with Quicktime VR revolutionising product shots and property sales.

When I came across an article advertising Target’s new interactive series, in which you could select various product placements and put them in your shopping basket on the fly, I thought it would be a little more interactive – as in actually clicking on the skirt she is wearing or the lamp on the desk, perhaps pausing and hovering over the object to get product information. Essentially you watch the little movie and there are thumb-nailed products scrolling down the right-hand side of the screen that are style sets and makeup/beauty sets for each actor/actress on screen at the time. Although I expected a bit more, it is pretty nifty gimmick which I’m sure will sell a few blouses and throw-pillows for Target.

I wonder if this might lead to more interactive product placement in mainstream cinema and television? Perhaps you could use your smartphone to store/scan codes embedded into products in the scenes and order them at your convenience.

You can view the mini-series here: http://fallingforyou.target.com/

Author: Justin Biddle, Studio Manager