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NBCU brings shoppable ads to broadcast TV

By Andrew Blustein | Reporter

May 6, 2019 | 3 min read

Already looking to reduce its ad load by 20% over the next year, NBCUniversal (NBCU) is now pushing a new format that will make on-screen ads shoppable.

NBCU debuts shoppable TV ads

NBCU debuts shoppable TV ads

NBCU has introduced its ShoppableTV ad unit, which shows a QR code that viewers can scan with their mobile cameras. Viewers can then interact with and potentially buy from a given advertiser on their phones.

ShoppableTV currently work on iOS devices and some Android devices. An NBCU spokesperson said the company is working to expand the function to all Android devices.

The QR code is on-screen for 30 seconds, so NBCU is pushing longer lengths for its ShoppableTV ads – either 60 or 90 seconds.

Josh Feldman, NBCU's executive vice-president, head of marketing and advertising creative, sees that brands and viewers alike are looking for safe and seamless ways to shop.

"By pairing brands with our premium content, storming the purchase funnel, and removing the barriers consumers traditionally encounter between seeing a product and making a purchase, we’re giving marketers a direct sales channel to millions of viewers across the country," said Feldman.

ShoppableTV can also exist as an in-show integration. NBCU tested the new technology during a broadcast of morning show TODAY, which earned around 50,000 scans in five minutes.

NBCU networks including NBC, NBC Sports, Telemundo, Bravo, E!, CNBC Prime, and USA Network plan to integrated ShoppableTV in their broadcasts over the coming months, according to the company.

An NBCU spokesperson declined to disclose any brand partners.

The Comcast-owned broadcaster is calling ShoppableTV the "second phase" of its larger commerce strategy. In March it launched Shop With Golf, an e-commerce marketplace aligned with the Golf Channel that has over 30 brand partners.

While NBCU is bringing shoppable ads to TV, platforms like Instagram and Snap are continuing to integrate the shopping experience into their apps.

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