Teenage pop sensation Britney Spears and Internet media company Yahoo Inc. have teamed in a new video that allows fans to follow Spears and her ‘N Sync heartthrob boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, on a recent New York shopping spree and click along to shop with the stars.
The interactive feature, launched on Yahoo this weekend, features a soundtrack by Spears, and prompts users to buy everything from her hit 2000 album “Oops! I Did It Again” to a size-four lavender halter, which like many other items, she deems “cool.”
In the seven-minute video, sponsored by PepsiCo Inc., 19-year-old Spears fills her virtual shopping cart with $887.37 of merchandise, including a $194.90 Dolce & Gabbana T-shirt.
The new promotion comes as Yahoo is under pressure to offer the kind of all-in-one marketing opportunities being promoted by media rival AOL Time Warner Inc and to generate new sources of advertising revenue.
Timberlake, who says “a lot of times clothes express how you feel about something, how you feel about yourself,” spends $265.83 in his spree, including a T-shirt in his favorite color of baby blue.
This is the first time Yahoo has sponsored an interactive shop-along, but the early signs on site traffic have been encouraging and future celebrity promotions will be coming, said Michael Landau, merchandising manager for Yahoo Shopping.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Landau said. “Consumers love to know what famous persons are wearing or where they’re going to eat.”
Yahoo stands to benefit most directly from Pepsi’s advertisement revenue and secondarily from transaction revenue generated as users click through to registered merchants, Landau said.
In particular, Yahoo’s shopping offering has failed to keep up with growth at rivals Amazon.com and Ebay Inc., and it is not clear that efforts like the Spears video can change that trend, said Safa Rashtchy, an analyst who follows Yahoo at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray.
“It certainly will give a boost to Yahoo Shopping. The question is whether it will give them a permanent boost. I think not,” he said.