Cinematique, a touchable video platform which launched just over a year ago, is pioneering the way consumers watch and interact with videos online.
The company has been teaming up with fashion brands, from Temperley London to Kate Spade, to combine its technology with brands' films to create touchable videos. The videos allow users to tap and click on any given object or shoppable item that moves across the screen during the live video.
On July 30, Cinematique announced the beta release of its new Cinematique Editor. The editor essentially takes the touchable video technology out of Cinematique's headquarters and puts it into the hands of brands that seek to create their own touchable, click-to-buy videos.
Cinematique's aim is to aid brands in creating a story through content and commerce in order to inspire an emotional and aspirational connection with users and shoppers.
Users can watch a video on the Cinematique platform or on a partnering brand's site. When an item is clicked, it is saved to the bottom menu, which the user can then click on to access additional information on any garment, product, landmark or even the model within the video.
The Cinematique Editor enables the user to drop and place "pins" over an item in the video that can then open to reveal additional information, back story and/or price points on the items clicked.
The process is really as simple as adding a blurb to a photo one might add to a Pinterest pin. Then, that pin can post or pin the item directly onto one's page (or in this case, video content).
For its recent beta launch of the Cloud-based editor function, Cinematique partnered with a select group of major fashion brands, publishers and high end luxury retailers, including Elizabeth Arden, Free People, Louis Vuitton, Condé Nast, Refinery 29 and many more.
Now, the brands can create their own touchable video content that's as simple as uploading the video and adding the content.
This is how it works: After uploading the video, brands and content creators can drop in pins to identify a garment, product or piece of scenery. Then, images, price points or additional information can be added and submitted. The content owner can then manage, edit and upload other items depending on what they track in user engagement data.
If you're unfamiliar with the company, Cinematique is the world's first touchable video platform, which has spawned the advent of ecommerce marketing through video. The New York City-based company was founded by Randy Ross and Kyle Heller, who also enlisted the help of Vogue alum (and fashion stylist to celebs including Emma Watson), Sarah Slutsky, who is the Director of Brands and Partnerships.
Cinematique CEO, Ross, launched the platform as a means of "tapping into" the frontier of fashion and tech.
"Originally, our other founding partner Kyle and myself had made the decision to come to New York to launch the platform in fashion. We came from the film-making world and the tech world. We knew there was this Renaissance going on in fashion film and that it was the place we wanted to launch and test the technology, but we really didn't have any knowledge of the industry from the inside," Ross explained to Fashion Times.
"We came to New York based on our excitement from fashion tech forums and we quickly realized that we needed to develop natural working relationships with the brands in the industry," he continued.
We recently sat down with Ross and Slutsky to get the scoop on the company's inception, the future of touchable videos and the new Cinematique Editor.
As the fateful story goes, the Cinematique team met Slutsky when she was experiencing trouble connecting to the WiFi in an East Village coffee house.
"The start of my relationship with Cinematique really starts with technology. I was sitting at The Bean with my iPad, and I couldn't get it to connect to the Internet. The gentlemen sitting next to me was on his iPad using the Internet, so I asked for his help. My iPad never did connect, so we just started chatting," relayed Sarah Slutsky.
"We started talking about what Cinematique was looking to achieve and it just registered as something that was so incredible to me. From day one, Cinematique has always been, to me, this wonderful world for storytelling -- to dive into video and have an immediate connection with the things you like. For me, my passions have always been about this aspirational environment that lives in fashion and how images and the aesthetic and emotional appeal of videos drives us," Slutsky said.
After connecting with several major fashion brands to combine Cinematique's touchable technology to preexisting fashion films in post production, the company received an encouraging response from brands and users alike. And with the touchable capability able to transition through the embedding process, videos that went viral sent brands and retailers immediate feedback on which items were being clicked on and shopped.
Slutsky stated, "We're really asking brands to rethink their strategies and what they put into their videos. So it's not only educational for us to see what works and what users really respond to, but it also provides this great host of information."
"We've been able to help brands realize that potential there. And we've actually had the numbers to prove that people want more than just shopping ... Everything comes down to content enabling commerce. The more time you spend on a video, the more immersed you are in that world and the more likely users are going to want to act on what they are seeing," continued Slutsky.
And their numbers most definitely show. This year, 85% of viewers clicked and interacted with the videos on their platform, which was up from 22% from last year, showing an increase in interactive connectivity through the videos. Their analytics shows that viewers are touching items at least five times per view, on average.
This leap earned Cinematique a spot in Fast Company's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies, alongside Vimeo and Dish, in 2015.
Chief Strategy Officer, Heller, added, "When you provide the ability to touch on video, it's easy to understand how content really does drive commerce. It's an entirely new format to engage audiences, deliver more content and measure the real success of a video."
In light of Cinematique's success, it will be refreshing to see how its partnering brands use the Cinematique Editor. Brands and content creators will now have the freedom to rethink video content and will be able to focus on how to tell their story, as opposed striving to cater to audiences using overt e-retailer advertising.
"Up until this point, a brand would say to me, 'We really love how this item looks and we really want to make this item look similar to it. Can you make that change?" I would say, 'Absolutely, no problem.' But now, it's in their hands and now they can, in real time, act on what they're learning and change what they need to change," said Slutsky when talking about brands using the editor for their companies.
"The editor really enables you to go beyond helping yourself -- it helps to develop strategy," she added.
When asked about what the future holds for touchable videos and shoppable video content, Randy Ross replied with a saying: "The future of video is not more resolution, it's more personal experience with every video."
To see Cinematique in action, check out their exclusive video for Matches Fashion below, and click to your heart's content.
(Video Courtesy of Matchesfashion.com)
Art Direction: Amy Turkington
Model: Iana Godnia at M+P Models
Hair & Makeup: Kenny Leung at Carol Hayes Managment
Nails: Michelle Humphrey at LMC Worldwide
Production: Tomasina Lebus
Fashion Assistant: Susannah Kala
Production Assistant: Samantha Treyvaud
Brands looking to get in on Cinematique's Editor can now request access to become a part of the company's Innovative Partners Program.
For more information and touchable videos, head to the Cinematique site.