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Netflix and Shop: Future of brand placement and retail?

I was having my casual Sunday Netflix time, binging The Politician season 2 (yes I finished the whole season in one day please don’t judge me) when something caught my eye. Why did all of the episodes look like a Gucci and Veja campaign? Also, since when did Americans know what Veja was? I wouldn’t have thought much of it had it been only 3 or 4 items, but these characters had full-on branded outfits, with crispy clean Veja sneakers in every episode. Are brands now using Netflix shows to promote their products and branch out globally? Is this the future of retail? Are we going to wake up one day and find Netflix being the biggest advertising and buying platform for our next outfits?

Not gonna lie, that would be pretty awesome. Imagine you’re casually watching your favorite season of American Horror Story, you click on the outfit and are taken to a link to buy it! As Hilary Duff would say, this is what dreams are made of…

This whole thing kind of reminded me of when One Direction fans started Tumblr blogs solely dedicated to finding what each member was wearing. You could literally go on those blogs and find out what Harry Styles was wearing to get coffee on some random day in 2016 in LA. That was a weird time, mostly for Harry I guess, hope he’s coping well with that.

Now imagine having a platform exactly like that which was also integrated within your Netflix so you could automatically be directed to the outfits that Gwenyth Paltrow was wearing in episodes of the politician (that beautiful Green Kaftan she was wearing in S1 E1 lives in my head rent-free). It’s not to say that there aren’t any platforms that find certain pieces of clothing from shows for you, there already is. Shopyourtv.com has further integrated the cinematic and fashion worlds together. Whilst Shopyourtv makes it easier to find your favorite Gwyneth Paltrow pieces from episode 4, season 1 of the Politician say, wouldn’t it be easier to click on the outfit during the show, and simply add to the basket?

Fast fashion favorite brand Missguided dipped their fake Yeezys into the turbulent tech waters of product placement, with their Love Island collab in 2018. Viewers could purchase one of the many skimpy bikini’s (though not the fake tan,) via the Misguided App. The brand reports sales increasing by 40%, with items worn by the most popular contestants seeing a 500% sale boost.

This winning formula, helped Missguided win over the attention of a younger generation that a lot of other brands and companies were having a hard time connecting with.

Since millennials and Gen Z consume their media through ad-free services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, they make it a lot more difficult for traditional marketers to reach. My generation has always seemed to be a little bit unreachable for the already established older marketers, but they have noticed that it is inevitable for businesses to establish a closer relationship with both their target market and their consumers in order to stay relevant.

The technology is fast approaching, and YouTube music videos have already started testing the waters, with a click and buy. We’ve seen fast-fashion retailers like Missguided find huge success in this so it won’t be long before bigger high fashion brands start doing the same. This technology can also be a great way to integrate certain brands into different geographical markets if you think about it. Throughout the 2 seasons of The Politician, I couldn’t help but see at least one pair of Veja’s in each episode. Some people in the states might know about them already, but it’s not that popular or findable. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but my theory is that Veja’s might have used this tactic to branch out further and reach a North American consumer.

If you think about it, a lot of brands do similar things on Instagram with influencer marketing, but instead of bombarding an audience that already numbed by sponsored content on social media and ads on TV, you create more meaningful and targeted engagement.

Here’s to hoping I can online shop a Netflix series while drinking a bottle of wine by the time I’m 30.

Cheers to that.

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