Reach out and grab that candy bar

Reach out and grab that candy bar

It’s been more than 40 years since Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) showed a chocolate bar broken up “into millions and millions of tiny pieces … whizzing over their heads” to the TV screen so Charlie could reach in and grab it. While we aren’t close to being able to reach into the screen and pull out the candy bar yet, it looks like the next best thing might be just about here.

Twenty-seven percent of TV sets shipped worldwide in Q1 of 2012 had internet connectivity. With Web connectivity on its way to becoming standard on TVs, this opens the door to all sorts of wide-spread direct marketing opportunities and communications campaigns. Do product research by moving your TV’s cursor to “click for more information.” Watch DRTV commercials that allow for immediate purchase. The Home Shopping Network’s sales may explode with the removal of that last barrier of actually needing to talk to someone.

Watch for “buy now” linkage currently seen on music streaming services, like Pandora, where you can click to link to iTunes to buy the song you just heard. Imagine clicking on any product you see and linking to Amazon or the networks’ online store to buy it. (Yes, I do want Don Draper’s suit and those awesome retro high-ball glasses.)

In the future, do commercial breaks go away altogether in favor of heavy product placement? Does every TV network essentially become a home shopping store controlling the merchandising of the products they feature? Put a credit card swiper in my remote. It sure will be handy, but will TV be any fun to watch?

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