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Amazon ‘Making the Cut’ is the ultimate example of product placement



The whole concept is awesome, but a bit disturbing. This was a show produced by Amazon and aired through Amazon’s own streaming service. The winning products were sold on Amazon.com. We also saw the show on an Amazon Fire TV that has an enticing “Buy Now” button at the end of each episode (this feature is not shown in other streaming boxes). If we click on it, we can literally buy the outfit directly from the Fire TV.

Amazon makes the cut

Amazon Studios

In essence, Making The Cut was a huge paid ad for Amazon. “Amazon creates a narrative that involves a viewer in the lives of the participants in” Making The Cut “and emotionally involves the viewer in the story of the participants,” said Blake Morgan, author of The customer of the future. “The item that the customer buys at the fair has more meaning than something that the customer simply takes off the shelf in a department store.”

Storytelling is often a much more compelling way to sell products than traditional advertising. That is why product placement has been such an effective advertising strategy for many years. Morgan mentioned an early example of product placement from Rebel Without a Cause from 1955. “James Dean used an ace comb and suddenly every teenager wanted the same comb,” she said.

This feeling continues to this day. A study published in 2019 by researchers from Indiana University and Emory University found that product placement is generally associated with increased online engagement. In addition, particularly prominent placements lead to even more social media conversations and more traffic for this particular brand. “Overall, our results support the belief that product placement can help marketers reach consumers who understand how to avoid traditional advertising exposure,” said Indiana University’s Beth Fossen in the study.

Amazon makes the cut

Amazon Studios

What makes Amazon’s efforts particularly unique is the sheer ease with which you can switch from viewer to consumer with just a few clicks of the mouse. It’s also Amazon, a website where most people already do most of their online shopping. A 2019 feedvisor study found that almost 89 percent of consumers are more likely to shop on Amazon than on any other e-commerce website.

“Amazon has grown from a bookseller to a place to buy doorknobs and lightbulbs,” Priya Raghubir, professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, told Engadget. Over time, she said, Amazon was particularly adept at making e-commerce known and mainstream. “When online purchases were made in the late 1990s, there were security concerns about credit card numbers. The second barrier was the sticker shock on shipping and handling fees. But now both have been alleviated and people tend to shop online. ”

If Amazon has a weak point, it’s because of the clothing. “It just didn’t start the same way,” said Raghubir. “When it comes to clothing, there is usually a certain risk that it will fit. And Amazon has sometimes encountered an issue where there are third parties with questionable credentials.” Thanks to this reputation, she said, people may be more reluctant to buy of clothing from the retail giant, which is perhaps the driving force behind Making The Cut: getting rid of that reputation and making Amazon a place where you would feel comfortable buying clothes online.

Amazon makes the cut

Amazon Studios

When it gets dark, watching the show doesn’t feel like an ad, though it is.

“What has enabled Amazon is the smooth approach to content that can be purchased, as a consumer can watch the ‘Making The Cut’ show and can instruct Alexa in real time to add the item to the cart and actually buy it without leaving the couch Said Morgan. This straightforward approach allowed Amazon to avoid the potential risk that consumers might feel cheated or cheated. They already know that they are watching something that they could possibly buy.

This is different than many other TV and film product placements that lack transparency or disclosure. “Disclosures from the entertainment industry must be made faster than before,” she said. “If social media influencers have to disclose when to pay to advertise an article, why are TV shows and movies so late to publish?”

Perhaps the future of product placement is to make it much more obvious. For example, imagine you could buy the clothes your favorite television star was wearing when you saw the show. Since our TVs look smarter and more like computers, this kind of interactive product placement seems to be the inevitable next step.

Amazon makes the cut

Amazon Studios

In a way, this future is already there. We already have a version of it with sponsored content on Instagram and YouTube, with social influencing factors promoting herbal supplements or cosmetic products. If you look at their photos or videos, you will find practical links in the description that lead you to buy the associated product immediately. For a while, this type of content was not even considered advertising, which made the fan or viewer feel that their support was “real”. Of course, the FTC has since ruled that such influencers must disclose their sponsored contributions, otherwise there is a risk of being fined.

“In the future, shopping will be as easy as telling your voice activated assistant what you’re looking for, or simply describing what you need the item for,” said Morgan. Based on the data Amazon has collected about you, these options can also be highly personalized and targeted. Imagine a version of the “If you bought it, you might be interested in” recommendation, but instead a product placement ad.

If there’s one thing that rubbed me wrong Make the cutThe show overemphasizes the commercial potential of clothing over its design aesthetic, which I think is more important in a fashion competition. I also had problems with some of the strangely harsh judgments. All in all, I will admit that I will give in a couple of the winning looks and actually buy them. It worked for me, even if I didn’t really like the show. And if it worked for me, it certainly worked for others.


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