Product placement is a tricky thing. If it’s too overt, it comes off as sleazy. If it’s too subtle, it defeats the purpose. Glamour has decided to try its hand at effective (but not annoying!) product placement with its new iPad reality series.
Yes, the reality show was produced just for Apple‘s super lustworthy tablet, which means nobody on the Styleite staff will be able to watch it. Sigh. (Related: does anyone at Apple want to send us one? We love shiny things!) This is how it works: an iPad user downloads Glamour‘s app, watches an episode of “Glamour Girls” and pauses it at will to buy the clothes the characters are wearing. The catch: all of the items come from Gap.
The show itself sounds reminiscent of “The Hills” (a fact the magazine not only admits, but emphasizes), following the lives of an event planner, a photographer’s agent and two stylists. Explains Condé Nast SVP William Wackermann: “This is cracking the code — finding a way to integrate products organically in the storytelling and actually having it be of value to the reader. The immediacy is instantaneous. You want to buy it? Click this. This is giving us a glimpse of what the future may look like.”
The app sold 4,600 units last month, and so far four 10-12 minute episodes have been produced. The idea is pretty interesting, but we’re most impressed that Glamour is being so open about the show’s primary purpose as a vehicle for product placement. Transparency!