Zazum is a small start-up with a big promise: making television shows and movies instantly shoppable via its mobile app.
It’s a new kind of affinity marketing that puts brands in the sweet spot of impulse buying in the moment, as viewers spot and want to buy what they see.
“Unlike television shopping channels that are a string of promotional spots for products—nothing more than long ads—Shoppable Shorts are entertainment in their own right. They are definitely not commercials,” says Zazum founder and CEO Susan Rits.
To get an idea of how it works, Zazum's “Milkmade in Manhattan” (above) is billed as the first shoppable short film, featuring Diana Hardeman, founder of MilkMade. In addition to featuring the Brooklyn-based entrepreneur, who makes gourmet ice cream, it's filled with clothes and jewelry from New York designers that can be purchased while watching —including the ice cream.
Zazum has launched a “Shoppable Shorts” channel on iTunes, featuring products from NYC designers that viewers can buy using its iPhone app, called SeeLoveBuy.
“As you watch the video with the app on, items in the film pop up on your phone. You can see food, clothes, jewelry, and accessories, find out about the designers, and buy what you like,” explained Rits.
Local artists and merchants are enthusiastic, as are advertisers, as their only cost is a small sales commission if the sale is made through SeeLoveBuy. “Everyone wants into the project—we’re over-booked for the next film, and already nearly at capacity for the one after that,” said Rits.
In development is a 5-minute video about a dinner party chock full of home goods and gourmet food. Designers’ lookbooks, limited-edition clothes, accessories and jewelry will be added soon, as Zazum gears up for a network debut in the fall, with several advertisers in the queue and one “big advertiser” watching to see how it all scales.
“Imagine if shows like Extreme Makeover—Home Edition triggered the phones of 100,000 audience members with information about how and where to buy the products they’re looking at. This is untapped revenue that networks are starting to take advantage of,” said Rits.
As for fans, it fulfills the longheld promise of interactive TV, in which "Buy it Now!" meets "As Seen on TV!"
“We’ve actually had people tell us exactly what TV shows they want to see this for—Gossip Girl and Portlandia are at the top of the list.”
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