NBCU, Peacock bring ShoppableTV to ‘Love Island USA’

Dive Brief:

  • Comcast’s NBCUniversal (NBCU) announced it’s applying its ShoppableTV technology to dating show “Love Island USA,” premiering July 19 on streaming platform Peacock, to allow viewers to scan on-screen QR codes and shop products used by contestants all season long, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
  • Once scanned, the QR codes will take viewers to shoppable articles on sister platform E! Online that will feature brands like Quay and Yellowpop. Consumers can purchase items through NBCUniversal Checkout, part of its One Platform ad tech stack.
  • Creating a season-long, shoppable experience follows NBCUs effort to mainstream immersive e-commerce experiences on TV and ramp up opportunities for brand marketers as ways to keep viewers engaged and drive revenue.

DiveInsight:

E-commerce and television isn’t a new mix for Comcast’s NBCU, but its ShoppableTV QR code integration into ITV Entertainment’s “Love Island USA” shows how the broadcaster is looking to streamline the experience for viewers while driving revenue as it competes with other streaming TV offerings.

The fourth season of reality dating show “Love Island USA” launches July 19, at which point fans can watch for scannable QR codes to appear on their screens which they can scan to shop the products “islanders” are using. From the initial scan through the checkout, guests are using NBCU’s sites and tools, which could help make the experience seamless while providing the media company with valuable consumer insights.

ShoppableTV and NBCUniversal Checkout, launched in 2019 and 2020 respectively, fall under the One Platform advertising tech suite offered by NBCU. Since adding ShoppableTV, it’s been used among sponsors including Lacoste during the French Open, Walmart on the “Today Show,” ZSwift during the Tour de France and more. Still, the success of QR codes on TV continues to see highs and lows, which some blame on user experience. However, if the issue is visible, the push to integrate QR codes into a series may help NBCU crack the code.

Some companies have similar ideas. Walmart and Roku are working together on a shopping experience, but instead of using QR codes, consumers only need to press the “OK” button on their remotes to be brought directly to a checkout page on their TV screen.

As the CTV advertising ecosystem grows busy, the success of ShoppableTV on “Love Island USA” could also help NBCU maintain its foothold along with other efforts it has made recently to bolster One Platform. In March, it said it will activate iSpot.tv’s cross-platform audiences as currency for national ad buys to compete with Nielsen. It’s also attempting to streamline programmatic efforts with Peacock Audience Extension, giving advertisers access to first-party data from all its streaming inventory in one place, among other efforts in its analytics and measuring toolkit.

In similar efforts, Disney recently expanded a partnership with The Trade Desk to connect its proprietary Audience Graph and Clean Room technology with Unified 2.0, The Trade Desk’s third-party cookie alternative, in a move to boost programmatic and interoperability in its own advertising platform.

NBCU’s move to promote products on the flirty dating show could offer the opportunity to companies who haven’t previously pursued TV advertisements to debut in a way that could be more easily tracked than traditional efforts. Beyond the ad business, the push for immersive shopping could also help expand Peacock, which grew to 13 million paid subscribers in Q1, up from nine million late last year. Earlier this year, NBCU bought the reality show off CBS as part of a two year deal. While it’s unclear exactly why NBCU chose “Love Island USA” for the shoppable integration over another series, it may act as an opportunity to expand the show’s viewership as it debuts on the platform.

To further amp up excitement for the new season and spur new viewers, Peacock and two former Love Island competitors are also hosting an in-person activation July 20 and 21 at Gansevoort Plaza in New York City, according to additional details shared with Marketing Dive. On theme with the show, guests will have the opportunity to mingle with one another, relying on designated beaded bracelets to communicate if they’re looking for love. Collaborations are also in the mix, including “Love Island USA” partnerships with clothing brand Kenny Flowers for a themed collection and with Obé Fitness for a content series inspired by the show. The show and music streaming service Spotify have also teamed up to release an official season four playlist.

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