With a whole new take on interactive TV, Zazum has been rounding up the hottest NYC designers and independent filmmakers to create a new kind of entertainment—Shoppable Shorts. And advertisers are falling over themselves to participate.

Fans who have wanted to buy Lindsay Lohan’s white “court house” dress, or spent days trying to find that blouse Nancy Botwin wore on Weeds are going to love what Zazum is doing. Shoppable Shorts are videos full of products that viewers can buy as they watch using Zazum’s iPhone App, SeeLoveBuy™. “As you watch the video with the app on, items in the film pop up on your phone. You can see food, clothes, jewelry, and accessories, find out about the designers, and buy what you like,” explained Susan Rits, CEO and Founder.

Zazum released the first shoppable short film (ever) this month on iTunes and Vimeo. “Milkmade in Manhattan” is a six-minute documentary about a business woman, featured recently on “The Rachel Ray Show,” who makes gourmet ice cream for a select group of customers. But what makes this video unique is that it’s chock full of clothes and jewelry from local NYC designers that you can buy while you watch—including the ice cream.

“Unlike television shopping channels that are a string of promotional spots for products—nothing more than long ads—Shoppable Shorts are entertainment in their own right. They are definitely not commercials,” Rits emphasized. “If you didn’t already know you’d never guess you could buy all the products in them.”

The response from local artists and merchants has been tremendous. Since the only cost to advertisers is a small sales commission, and then only if they make a sale through SeeLoveBuy, barriers to entry couldn’t be lower.  “Everyone wants into the project—we’re over-booked for the next film, and already nearly at capacity for the one after that,” Rits explained.

This is the first in a series of films in production. “We’ve started a channel on iTunes and Vimeo that we’re planning to fill with interesting short films that are also shoppable,” Rits said. In the works now is a 5-min video about a dinner party featuring home goods and gourmet food available for purchase. In addition, Zazum will be adding designers’ lookbooks to the channel, full of limited-edition clothes, accessories and jewelry

While a Shoppable Shorts channel is great summer fun, Zazum has bigger plans for its technology. It will be announcing its network debut this fall with several advertisers already queued up and ready to go, and a “big advertiser” in the wings, watching to see how it all shakes out.

There is nothing new about affinity marketing using television shows. But until now, there was no simple way for audiences to make a purchase while the impulse is strongest—while they’re watching the show. It’s not hard to see the kind of revenue impact this could have on network series with audiences of 10-15 million viewers. “Imagine if shows like Extreme Makeover—Home Edition triggered the phones of 100,000 audience members with information about how and where to buy the products they’re looking at,” Rits pointed out. “This is untapped revenue that networks are starting to take advantage of.”

Fans are pretty excited too. “We’ve gotten amazingly enthusiastic responses from almost every TV fan we’ve polled. Everyone has a story about some item they saw on their favorite television show and spent days or weeks trying to track down, with limited success,” Rits says. “We’ve actually had people tell us exactly what TV shows they want to see this for—‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘Portlandia’ are at the top of the list.”

About Zazum

Zazum, Inc. is the pioneering provider of a revolutionary 2screen mobile commerce platform. SeeLoveBuy, Zazum’s mobile app, enables audiences to learn more about and instantly purchase the things they see and love on television and in movies. Our groundbreaking technology doesn’t just tell you what show you’re watching, but what product in each show you’re looking at—the moment it crosses the screen.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is a business advisor and technology consultant. He helps Fortune 500 companies with digital transformation, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn's Top Voice in Technology, he is the co-host of "Think About This with Shelly Palmer & Ross Martin" on the Westwood One Podcast Network. He covers tech and business for Good Day New York, writes a weekly column for Adweek, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC, and writes a popular daily business blog. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com

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