Tonight’s Cougar Town Is One Massive Target Ad

An online version of Cougar Town will feature a click-to-buy service for viewers to score decor from Target. The online video pauses when a viewer wants to buy a piece. (TBS)

An online version of Cougar Town will feature a click-to-buy service for viewers to score decor from Target. The online video pauses when a viewer wants to buy a piece. (TBS)

Have you ever seen something on a television show, say a scarf or an end table, and just had to have it? Of course you have, we all have (Or at least I have). Target wants to tap into that urge by letting online viewers of TBS’s Cougar Town buy items seen in the show. Unfortunately, this may mean having to watch a show that is covered in flashing red plus-signs.

Tonight’s episode of Cougar Town features more than a dozen items from the new Nate Berkus line for Target and a synched online version of the show allows consumers to purchase the products with a click of their smartphone, the New York Times reports.

The decor pieces, which range from $10 to $65, can be purchased by clicking on a flashing red plus-sign featured on the simulcast version of the show. After clicking the sign the online video pauses and consumers are taken to Target.com where they can buy the product.

While the online version of Cougar Town isn’t available yet, promotional videos featuring the flashing icons give a glimpse into what viewers will experience. And it’s, well, distracting.

A promotional video for Cougar Town features flashing red plus-signs altering viewers to products available for purchase online.

A promotional video for Cougar Town features flashing red plus-signs altering viewers to products available for purchase online.

Jeff Greenfield, co-founder of C3 Metrics, tells the Times that integration of the click-to-buy service could be better.

“If you could just hover over an item with your mouse to buy it, that would be pretty cool,” he says. “But the plus signs are everywhere, and they grab your eye and it’s going to be very irritating to people watching the show in replay.”

Scenes from the promotional videos include up to six flashing signs at any one time, which might be enough to make even avid viewers skip watching the show online.

This is Target and TBS’s first attempt at a click-to-buy service, so execution could change in the future. But officials with Target say the partnership is a natural fit and fills a need for consumers.

“Our guests have told us that they’re looking for ideas to be inspired by and, along with this being a really innovative, technology-based way to help them shop, it’s also a way to inspire them,” says Rick Gomez, vice president of marketing for Target. “Seeing the collection in context gives them ideas for how they can go and redecorate their own homes.”

The online version of the show featuring the flashing symbols will be available online through April 15; in case you don’t like to multitask while watching television.

Like That Vase on the TV? Click Your Phone To Buy It [New York Times]