Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Shopping on Instagram

I've been telling people for ages that we'll soon be able to buy directly from Instagram, and today they announced an initial trial in the US.

The friction involved in shopping from social platforms has always seemed a bit artificial - why can't it be as easy as on Amazon?  Now Instagram is making it much easier, letting people shop within the app by putting in payment and delivery details

This video shows how it will work: 





Monday, January 07, 2019

The Bandersnatch Stunt at Old Street Station


This is probably the most analogue thing that I have written about on this blog, but it's a great example of creating something physical designed to go viral.

Netflix has taken over one of the pop-up shops in the tunnels under Old Street roundabout, near the entrance to Old Street tube station, to create a fake shop, Tuckers Newsagent and Games, named after Tuckersoft, the video games company in the Bandersnatch 'choose your own adventure' episode.

(Apparently there is one in Birmingham too).


The store doesn't open (as far as I know) but people have been peering through the windows and taking photos and sharing them on social media, particularly Twitter and Instagram.


They've had a lot of fun kitting out the store, including lots of posters for fake video games, and even fake VHS tapes for some of the other Black Mirror episodes, including San Junipero and Nosedive.


There is also a big billboard for Bandersnatch in the tunnels, but obviously this is getting far more attention.  According to the site of pop-up shop hire company Appear Here, the shop would cost something like £250 a day to hire - so if they have taken it out for twelve days or so (for set-up, take down etc) it would have only cost £3,000, a very effective media cost given the amount of buzz that it has created!


I thought that the show itself was good, but not great.  It was lots of fun at the beginning, but then it descended a bit too much into horror for me (yes, I have seen all the other Black Mirror episodes, so I did know what to expect...).  But I loved the 80s references, including John Menzies, and the 'Hobbit' game, plus the re-created WHSmiths store that he buys music in, and I loved the jokes with the format, like the 'Fuck Yeah' choice when he is in the doctor's office.


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