See’N’Search Product Placement

In January, I predicted plinking to be the next big thing in consumer-related new media. Plinking, which stands for product linking, is the act of embedding a product or service link in an online video so viewers can purchase a product directly from the video they are watching. Now, Samsung has launched its own version of plinking with See’N’Search. Their application takes existing plinking away from just the web and onto our TVs as See’N’Search automatically scans TV programming for keywords and generates links that are accessible by jumping to a different menu with the remote – no keyboard and mouse required.

So, while watching your favorite American Idol performance, you can instantly link to the AI web site where you can buy that outfit the judges are so conveniently raving about.

What makes Samsung’s application so interesting is unlike plinking, which is limited just to the products on the screen, See’N’Search will pull up information on the actors as well as whatever they are discussing in the show. So, when Kramer says to Jerry, “How can you not like Junior Mints? It’s chocolate. It’s peppermint. It’s very refreshing,” viewers will be able to buy some right then and there. Okay they probably won’t click on Junior Mints; I just wanted to use that quote. But, for some products this could create a new revenue channel and instant ROI for marketers. Plus, it could enable us to finally measure the difference between sight-line and the more costly scripted product placement.

I also wonder if this would enhance ROI on press coverage. If while watching a broadcast news clip, customers could link to our client’s products or services, our campaign measurement would be forever changed.

Samsung hasn’t said when See’N’Search will be available to the public. But, I maintain this is going to be a fascinating year for product placement. And I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s to come!

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