Swedish fashion and home ware retailer H&M teamed up with Delivery Agent, an ad-tech agency, determined to put t-Commerce on the map during at the 2014 SuperBowl in New Jersey.
Previously touted by some agencies as ‘tablet commerce,’ H&M and Delivery Agent seeked to transform the market with ‘television commerce,’ by allowing viewers of the SuperBowl XLVIII, aired on February 2nd 2014, to purchase products seen on screen during H&M’s 30 second advertisement, played to millions of viewers during the second quarter of the final.
For the second year running, the Swedish fashion firm’s SuperBowl advert featured English football legend David Beckham and his Bodywear line – a collaboration with the brand that began in 2011. The advert introduced Beckham’s 9-piece Spring ’14 range, which was shoppable for audience members watching the sports fixture on a Samsung Smart TV. Samsung users were able to access product and purchasing information in real time as the ad plays to around 90 million viewers via an on-screen pop up menu that crucially does not obstruct the main ad frame or affect the overall viewability of the ad. By enabling purchasing within the regular broadcasting stream, this interactivity does not change the viewing experience of the SuperBowl as a whole, making shopping – or just experimenting with this functionality – more inviting for the audience.
30 seconds of advertising time during the SuperBowl is reported to cost brands up to $4million, making H&M’s new sales tactic a pricey gamble. The retailer’s decision to partner with Delivery Agent is forward-thinking, but not without certain drawbacks at this relatively early stage in the feature’s development. Although tens of millions of Americans annually tune in to the SuperBowl, H&M’s in-ad shopability feature is only available and accessible to Smart TV’s manufactured by Samsung in 2012-2013, one of Delivery Agent’s financial backers. The number of these devices in-use across the 50 states is unknown, leaving a cloud of ambiguity over the amount of viewers with the ability to purchase Beckham’s product using their television remote. Previous campaigns in conjunction with Delivery Agent have seen items become shoppable through a cable or satellite set-top box, but H&M’s effort is the first to interact directly via a Smart TV.
Only time will tell if H&M’s t-Commerce feature has the potential to revolutionise shopping by presenting consumers with not only a new platform, but also a new arena in which to purchase products and services.