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NBCU Teams With Amex, Zeebox for T-Commerce

NBCUniversal and American Express struck a partnership that will let viewers buy products “inspired” by NBCU’s shows, via the second-screen mobile app from Zeebox.

Comcast and NBCU, which is controlled by the cable company, each took equity stakes in U.K.-based Zeebox earlier this year.

NBCU’s DailyCandy women’s lifestyle website will curate a list of products related to three of the programmer’s shows: Bravo's Life After Top Chef, E!'s Fashion Police and Style's Tia & Tamera. The initial campaign kicked off Nov. 7 and will run for four episodes of each show through mid-December, with one featured product per week.

American Express’ goal is to promote AmexSync, its platform for Facebook and Twitter that gives card members access to discounts and special deals. With the NBCU T-commerce offers, Amex card holders can receive a one-time $35 credit when they use an eligible card that has been synced with one of the social-media sites to purchase a featured product.

"We know today's consumers are on other screens while watching television," Linda Yaccarino, president of NBCUniversal Ad Sales, said in a statement. The T-commerce initiative "is a seamless way to capture their attention around the products and experiences featured on the shows they love, and narrows the path-to-purchase for consumers, all while offering special benefits for American Express card members.”

Each participating show will have a custom page on Zeebox which could include features such as games, behind-the-scenes photos and facts, trivia and special offers. In addition, users can follow Twitter and Facebook feeds related to the shows from within the Zeebox app and chat with their friends in real-time.

“It’s the first credible example of ITV where a major broadcaster and a major advertiser courtesy of Zeebox are enabling ‘Jennifer's Aniston's sweater,’ which is the (in)famous holy grail of ITV to finally be realized at scale,” Jason Forbes, Zeebox USA executive vice president and managing director, wrote in an email. He was referring to the much-cited TV-commerce example used several years ago in which viewers would have hypothetically been able to purchase the sweater worn by the star of NBC's Friends.

The NBCU effort includes a series of 30-second spots running on each participating network featuring talent from the shows, including Fabio Viviani (from Bravo's Life After Top Chef) and George Kotsiopoulos (from E!'s Fashion Police.) The spots also will run online across DailyCandy,,  and

The initial vignettes will prompt viewers to download the Zeebox app and encourage Amex card members to take advantage of the special offer. The second series of spots will feature talent telling viewers to check out the weekly item for sale.