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American Express, Fox enable mobile commerce for “New Girl” viewers

November 27, 2012

American Express and Fox Broadcasting Co. have teamed up to give viewers of “New Girl” a way to shop for items appearing in the show via their mobile devices.

The partnership is one of several new media deals announced by American Express with the goal of creating engaging digital shopping experiences via curated content. American Express has also partnered with mobile viewing app Zeebox and NBCUniversal to enable commerce during several shows.

“Audiences are increasingly engaging in second screen viewing,” said Lou Paskalis, vice president of global media, content development and mobile marketing at American Express, New York. “The mobile device allows us to integrate marketing messaging related to specific TV content in a way that would otherwise not be possible.

“For those fans who may want the products that they see on their favorite shows, we are enabling them through a seamless ecosystem, facilitated by mobile technology and our own back-end commerce technology,” he said.

“By doing this through a second screen, we do not commercialize the programming in a way that would detract from the viewing experience.”

Television commerce
Fans of “New Girl” will be able to purchase items seen on the show via the Fox Now app for iPad and at, including clothing, household items and more. Each “New Girl” episode will feature at least one item available for purchase.

American Express is promoting the deal with a special offer for card holders, who will receive a one-time $35 statement credit if they use an eligible American Express card that has been synched with their Facebook account to make a purchase.

The program may be extended to additional Fox programming next year.

American Express has also partnered NBCUniversal and Zeebox to enable viewers to purchase products inspired by several shows. The products being presented for purchase have been curated by NBCUniversal’s Daily Candy and can be purchased while users are watching Bravo’s “Life After Top Chef,” E!’s “Fashion Police” and Style’s “Tia & Tamera.”

Similar to the Fox program, American Express is offering card holders a $35 statement credit if they sync their American Express card through Facebook or Twitter and use the card to purchase a featured item.

Second-screen viewing
For the “New Girl” strategy, TV commercials will appear on Fox informing viewers that they can purchase items seen on the show and that American Express card holders receive a special offer.

Viewers then download the Fox Now app to their iPad and launch the “New Girl” portal, where they will see a Twitter aggregator of all of the chatter happening related to the show.

The app automatically synchronizes to the TV using audio content recognition technology so that the consumer is getting information in-time with the pace of the show. When an item that is available for purchase first appears on the show, the app will serve a message to viewers alerting them that they can purchase that item.

Users will also receive a message about the American Express offer.

American Express card holders can then click “Get Started” to be walked through the process of syncing their American Express card to their Facebook accounts, where they can load the offer to their card.

On the main screen, users can click on “Buy Now” to bring up a shopping card and complete a purchase.

By integrating commerce, TV and mobile, American Express hopes to provide exclusive or enhanced benefits to card holders that are convenient for them.

“Taking on the challenge of TV-based commerce is a multi-year, multi-platform effort,” Mr. Paskalis said. “Today, this is not part of the television experience that consumers are used to.

“We are pioneering a new way for audiences to ‘get more of what they love’ from their favorite shows,” he said. “With that said, our short-term goal is to familiarize audiences that this new capability exists and slowly acculturate them to the enhancements that it can bring to their viewing experience.

“Ultimately, we want to be leading the way for new technologies to make commerce more seamless, engaging and fun.  Years from now, we believe there will be significant commerce driven from second screen experiences around television, but that is not our expectation in the near term.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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