Ever wanted to shop straight from a music video? Well, too bad, now you can anyway. SSENSE, a Canadian designer clothing retailer, has joined up with Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, hip-hop duo FKi, and producer Diplo to create a music video for the song “I Think She Ready” that viewers can shop from directly. You know how there are ads, and then there are things you actually want to watch? SSENSE is the Ronald Reagan to that Berlin Wall.
The music video is peppered with very noticeable “S” icons, which turns into “Shop This Look” upon rollover. Click on one, and a menu will show up displaying all of the items one of the people in the video is wearing (shilling?) at the time. As many have pointed out, the overall experience isn’t too different from what you get with annotated YouTube videos. At the bottom of the video, you can mouse over the progress bar to find certain points in the video, which will bring up separate small icons that you can click on to bring up the shopping menus. The technology comes courtesy of wireWAX, and the fashions come by way of designers including 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander McQueen, and Givenchy. Do not browse this video for affordable fashions. You will not find them.
The whole experience isn’t exactly a pleasurable one, even for those who get their kicks from shopping. The music video pauses every time you click on a “Shop This Look” button, so you’re either going to be shopping or enjoying the music, but not both. That, and the droves of “S” icons make the loading time a little long for the video and the interactive menus themselves. Better yet, in some scenes, the “S” icons bounce around as the members of FKi or Iggy Azalea dance or walk around, making them tricky to actually click on. Then again, maybe that’s a tribute to the technology’s roots – the beloved shoot five ducks and win an iPhone banner ads. Of course, all these issues will probably be ironed out in the many more commercial music videos that will no doubt be in the pipeline if this one takes off. So, we have that to look forward to.
The worst part of the whole experience comes in at around the 3:30 mark, when someone in the background happens to be rocking a black Optimus Prime-looking Transformers helmet (a reference to FKi’s album, Transformers N The Hood, on which “I Think She Ready” appears). Eager to check out what was clearly the best fashion statement in the video, I shopped that look, only to find that the Transformers helmet was, in fact, not for sale. Needless to say, the disappointment was bitter.