Matthew Knight and Bram Meuleman in The Grocer: Amazon Fire TV offers opportunities to the fmcg world
Carat's head of strategic innovation, Matthew Knight and strategic planning director, Bram Meuleman discuss Amazon Fire TV and the implications for fmcg brands.
It’s been a heady couple of days for Amazon Fire: not only have they launched their new ad campaign, starring their newest heavy-weight talent at his typically lovable and controversy-avoiding best, but they’ve also rolled out new e-commerce capability on Fire TV.
Rather than having to use your phone or laptop to go to Amazon.com, you can now buy products directly off the telly screen with a few clicks of your Amazon Fire TV Stick remote.
TV has come a long way since the Billy Hays heydays, and this development has the potential to make TV fundamentally shoppable in three ways.
Firstly, the Fire TV home screen features interactive banner ads, which can show products that are relevant to your user profile and recent Fire TV content consumption.
Secondly, Amazon’s X-Ray feature will let viewers see specific items in a movie or TV show, and then click to purchase those products for themselves. This opens up a whole world of shoppable product placements across the wider ecosystem of content producers and broadcasters. However, while TV viewing behaviours have changed fundamentally in the past few years, non-linear viewing habits don’t necessarily give brands the right to make every scene in every show interactive or shoppable. It’s important to keep in mind that, particularly in the Golden Age of Television, people watch shows because they love the shows. This means that marketers will have to walk the delicate tightrope between pushing their products and preserving an audience’s suspension of disbelief.
Thirdly, in the long term, there is a potential opportunity for long-form content collaboration and complete product integration in Amazon Original shows – imagine a product playing a key part in a storyline that is impacted by whether or not you purchase said product.
But will it be successful?
Over the past few years, Amazon has worked hard to lay the groundwork for innovations like this. They obviously already have the most sophisticated e-tailer platform and on-the-ground distribution and delivery network, allowing them to bring a seemingly endless number of products direct to a consumer, often in a matter of hours.
But they’ve also steadily chipped away at the video streaming industry, both when it comes to technology and content. Since launching their first Fire TV product in 2014, Amazon has steadily chipped away at the video streaming industry. At just $99, their new Fire TV box is currently the cheapest 4K video player on the market, and at $39, its Fire TV Stick, as seen in the Clarkson ad, is the cheapest major media streamer that includes a remote control.
What’s more, Amazon Prime Video, their aggressive move into streaming content, and the impressive quality of Amazon Original content (Transparent, Hand of God, etc.) has established them as a credible player in the long-form, non-linear TV viewing space.
In other words, all the ingredients are there for Amazon to take their next step towards making the whole world shoppable.
For fmcg specifically, the implications are more nuanced.
At the moment, the established TV viewing behaviours would be too much of stumbling block for Amazon orders in the typical FMCG price range. However, there’s a brilliant data opportunity: fmcg brands will be able to learn more about people’s interests in relation to their viewing habits and content preferences, which would naturally enable them to target and market more effectively. Furthermore, the rumoured launch of a QVC-style shopping channel will be very interesting indeed. Imagine a cooking show where an audience watches a TV chef cook a delicious meal, and can then add all the ingredients (and the cooking equipment) to their Amazon basket, and get it delivered an hour later through Amazon Fresh or Amazon Prime Now!