You must have heard someone whirring their coffee with a dainty spoon at a conference and whimsically talking of the passive viewer becoming the active user. It's the talk of our time that brands are becoming publishers and they want their audience to lean forward and engage with their content.

WIREWAX is obviously a big part of that - amongst us are thousands of users and hundreds of brands looking to encourage their viewers to step out and click or touch what interests them in the video. But, how do we do this effectively and appropriately for a wide range of audiences and purposes?

Brands have the ability to design their own tags. This is their call to action. Their chance to reach out and grab the viewer. Many, like our friends over at the NFL and L'Oréal, have created something that is very obvious and perhaps, for some, too "over the top". Others like Dazed & Confused and Coach, decided to go with a more discrete, minimalistic approach. Each serves a purpose, but who is to say which is the right one?

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Users have the option to choose their own tag display mode at the top-center drop down. The options there are 1) switching the tags off, 2) having the tags appear upon rollover, or 3) tags always on. Does it take it too far to have a bold tag and the tags turned on? Should you couple a more discrete tag with the display on?

Broadcasters are looking for new and innovative ways to organically incorporate advertising opportunities into their shows. A new-age product placement in a time where viewers are turning to their computers to watch their favorite programs.

Target went with a bold tag design for their shoppable Cougar Town video. It was their decision to have the glowing red tags on all the time throughout the video. Was this too much? Could they have gone with a more discreet design or perhaps opted to only display tag upon rollover? Or is this a necessary evil of viewer education?


For many viewers of, shall we say, an older generation, the purpose of film and video has always been to sit back and enjoy the experience. Interactivity or shoppability might feel like an unwelcome interruption of the experience, but are we not venturing into a new territory here? Encouraging viewers to becoming users and having the ability to learn more about your viewers.

In many cases, viewers will see a product in video that they want to purchase or learn more about and have no direct ability to do so. Are we saving the laborious and frustrating process of searching online for the product by providing a direct avenue to purchase?

At the end of the day, the goal is to drive sales - will bold integration prove it's worth? Or has this all gone too far?