There’s an interesting debate about shoppable videos in this week’s issue of Marketing Magazine in the UK. In it, I comment on why I’m not yet sold on the idea in its entirety.

Read the full story here – Branded content: watch before you buy – or see below for my extract…

Click-to-buy videos have grabbed the headlines as the industry tries to cash in on the growing appetite for highly creative and beautiful films, but I am unconvinced.

Most consumers do not want to watch a video, especially those any longer than 30-60 seconds, if they are trying to get something out of it. There’s a disconnection between viewing for entertainment and for purpose.

Shoppable content aims to capture consumers at the point of inspiration and the moment of intent, but to do so, it has to work – and easily.

This is not always the case, as one luxury brand learned last year when its shoppable ad simply didn’t work – there was not enough time for the user to move the cursor to click on the item being advertised before the frame changed.

Perhaps Target’s short-film series, Falling for You, provides a better example of where this trend is going to go. Its column running alongside the content featuring items from its collection is like a digital update on product placement.

The concept of the shoppable film is novel, but to work in the long run, it has to be fast, seamless and closer to the nature of online behaviour to have true and lasting cut-through.