It’s not often that I get excited about a new app or piece of tech. Ello? (Goodbye.) Wearable tech? (Calculator watches tried to happen, too.) Bumble? (Poor twist on an app that is successful because of all the features Bumble took away.) But when I read about TheTake — a new app that can pinpoint the specific scene you’re watching in a specific movie, then give you information about the products in that scene — I (admittedly) nerded. out.
Remember 2005 when a new song would play at your local hangout and you just had to have it as your ringtone? (Or — eek — your ringback tone?) The same type of technology used to operate Shazam, the company that originally ran this service, is used by TheTake to identify what movie you’re watching and what scene you’re watching … while you’re watching it. Currently, the app is only available for a library of 100 films, but TheTake has plans to grow this library, and the company says that TV is not being left out of conference room conversations. This, I believe, is where TheTake could really, well, take off.
In a world where four out of 10 Americans use a second device while they’re watching TV, this app (if successful) could open so many doors for marketers. For starters, product placement would be infinitely more successful. Currently, advertisers have to hope that their product in a movie/TV scene made so much impact that the viewer went out to buy it after the movie/show ended. Not only is that a pretty big leap, but it makes tracking ROI more of a “guesstimate” than an exact science. With TheTake, if a viewer either a) makes a purchase as a referral from the app during the show’s airing or b) views the product during the show’s airing and later returns to purchase it, it’s much easier to track ROI from point A to point B.
It’s also likely that a rise in the popularity of this app could diminish the impact TV commercials have, as DVR and cable subscription apps already have. Advertisers are increasingly becoming publishers, could they add screenwriters to their resume next? Would marketers vie for airtime in the program itself, rather than during commercial breaks? There are a lot of questions and conversations that could and should start around this app if it takes off.
And of course, I can’t leave a potential advertising goldmine alone without mentioning my area of expertise, social media. The possibilities for a tie-in to TheTake are great, and strategic minds could undoubtedly come up with some really cool stuff with this. Simplistically, the app could not only pull up a link to purchase the product, but it could show links to the brand’s social media pages as well. It could show a running stream of users talking about the show and/or product on Twitter. It could curate Instagram photos of people wearing/using the product. Or Pinterest boards that include it.
Instead of characters visiting fake businesses/restaurants/venues, real venues could pay to have a scene filmed at their place. Then TheTake could show the viewer Yelp reviews, menus, upcoming bands, etc.
The one catch to all of this, however, is ensuring that TV is still mostly focused on entertainment for the viewer, and not on pleasing the advertiser. We’re increasingly entering an era where media and advertising’s lines are becoming crossed and blurred; if marketers took this too far (and producers let them), TheTake could crash and burn. It’s up to both sides to make sure there’s a healthy balance of monetary value to the advertiser and production company and entertainment value to the viewer. This should be a symbiotic relationship, because one really cannot thrive if the other suffocates it.
What other options do you think advertisers could have if TheTake is popular? Let me know in the comments below!
Learn more about TheTake here.