Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Oohly: Buy Products Straight from Your TV

Long gone are the days of waiting. It’s all about instant gratification. If we want an answer to a question, we just Google it. If we want to know what movies our favorite actors star in, we visit IMDB. Shouldn’t our purchasing process be just as fast?

Leawood, Kansas-based startup Oohly seems to think so.

The developers of Oohly have created an app that connects to your TV and streamlines the buying process. Read on to discover the closer-than-ever future of purchasing products from your TV...even those products you see in your favorite television shows. 

About Oohly
You’re watching your favorite TV show—let’s just say it’s Mad Men. You see Betty Draper wearing a stunning red dress and you think to yourself, I want that! Using the Oohly app—and without interrupting your show—you can see what Betty is wearing and where you can purchase it. The app provides links that connect you directly to the retailer so you may buy the dress if you choose.
To learn more about this process, watch this Oohly video:

Oohly Presents - EXTRA GONE WILD! from Oohly on Vimeo.

Why Oohly Reigns Supreme
Kansas-based startup Oohly, featured on and, is truly the first of its kind. And with half of American viewers using the Internet while watching TV (perhaps they’re purchasing products!), it’s a wonder a startup like this hasn’t come out sooner. Oohly solves many prominent problems within the advertising and marketing world.

Solving the Problem of Product Placement
Commercials are falling by the wayside because viewers simply skip through them thanks to DVR and TiVo.  In order to solve for this, marketers have beefed up television product placement.  To fulfill product placement promises, brands are woven into a TV show’s storyline without the viewers even realizing it.  Other times, when done incorrectly, product placement can feel less organic.  Director David Lynch has nothing but negative things to say about the topic. Many criticize that product placement disrupts the story and is a feeble attempt for replacing commercials.

With Oohly, product placement may be a thing of the past. All product information is embedded in the TV show’s metadata. All you do is select a character and voila! You now have all the information that you’d get from a commercial (and more!). Except now, the viewers are in control!

Governance Issues
Right now it seems that product placement is the only way to get around the DVR issue. Marketers and advertisers are at a loss. Content developers don’t like having to create a storyline about a specific product and viewers don’t like commercials invading their TV shows. Policy makers want disclosure. The Federal Communication Commission thinks the public should know when it’s being influenced by advertisements. The rule states:

"When money or other consideration for the airing of program material has been received by or promised to a station, its employees or others, the station must broadcast full disclosure of that fact at the time of the airing of the material, and identify who provided or promised to provide the consideration."

Oohly bypasses this issue all together. Oohly users choose to seek further information about the product. They aren’t unwittingly sold a product because of sponsorship from a brand—they can choose to get more information (or not)! Wouldn’t it be nice to watch Mad Men without an ad for Gillette in the middle of it?

Oohly isn’t just convenient for consumers and TV viewers.  It’s a necessary step in the streamlined buying process. If this piques your interest, keep your fingers crossed because Oohly is still searching for partners!

And in the meantime, I’ll still be trying to figure out where Betty Draper got that least until Oohly comes around.  

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