The partnership will kick off with an integration in the Bravo reality series Below Deck Mediterranean, which takes viewers behind the scenes with the crew and guests on a superyacht during charter season. The show returned for its eighth season on Bravo in late September. Now, during select episodes, viewers will be able to shop Walmart products inspired by moments in the show, such as table settings, cookware and yacht-life fashions.
The shoppable episodes will air on Peacock Nov. 7, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12. When customers see a product they are interested in during an ad break, they will be able to press arrows on their remote to browse an interactive onscreen product carousel, and they can then scan a QR code to check out on Walmart.com.
The shoppable episodes are enabled by NBCUniversal’s Must ShopTV initiative, which uses AI technology from KERV Interactive to identify objects in a scene and find similar items available for sale at retail partners (or in some cases, on NBCU’s own third-party marketplace). So, for example, while the Chief Stew serves a sit-down dinner on the show, viewers who opt in will be “served” similar dishware options from Walmart’s site. Since items are paired with Walmart’s inventory, viewers will only see options that are available for purchase.
“For so long, viewers had to take the hard route, scouring the internet to find a product like what they saw their favorite icons or creators use in-show,” said Josh Feldman, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Advertising and Partnerships at NBCU in a statement. “Now, through the power of Must ShopTV, and with Walmart as our launch partner, Bravo fans can get even closer to the content they love by discovering the brands that are already part of the story.”
Leading the Shoppable TV Charge
Both NBCU and Walmart are in the vanguard of shoppable TV, although this is the first time the two are joining forces in the effort. NBCU’s Must ShopTV first debuted earlier this year with the Peacock reality series Love Island USA, and later also appeared in the new season of Project Runway. Walmart also has an ongoing partnership with Roku that allows viewers across a range of programming to buy products shown in Walmart ads with their remote.
“Walmart customers are finding inspiration everywhere and anywhere, including their favorite TV shows,” said William White, Chief Marketing Officer at Walmart U.S. in a statement. “It’s why we’re always looking for innovative ways to shorten the distance between that inspiration and the ability to purchase. We know some of our customers’ most loved TV shows right now are on Bravo. By expanding our shoppable TV footprint with NBCUniversal, we’re pairing our incredible product assortment with some of their most talked-about content, so our customers can quickly purchase items inspired by their favorite cast members while they’re watching.”
Must ShopTV is only one of many shoppable TV initiatives underway at the network. At the RICE conference earlier this year, Evan Moore, SVP of Commerce Partnerships at NBCU said that not only do NBCU viewers want to shop while watching TV, but “they really don’t understand why they can’t do it already. This is a latent, exciting opportunity that’s just waiting to be capitalized on.”
At NBCU these shoppable TV experiences are currently happening primarily with unscripted content, because “there is such a strong alignment between the drama and the aspirational lifestyles that people see in reality TV, and also the production timelines for those shows make it easy to make them shoppable,” explained Moore. However, reality TV is only the starting point: “There’s so much power to create culture and drive intent in scripted television, so we’re really excited to get into those spaces,” said Moore, who added that live programming like sports as another potential area of expansion.