Videopath’s Picks: ASOS goes interactive

This week’s Videopath Pick is from ASOS, an online fashion store in the UK. Directed by Pensacola Studio, the video has all the trappings of a classic fashion shoot: sweet amps, a synth, strutting models.

But behind the conventional fashion shoot backdrop, there’s a heavy dose of the fantastical.

The plot, insofar as there is one, revolves around a magic amplifier that — once plugged in– elevates the fashion shoot to an otherworldly level. A male model exits the scene by floating upwards. Two other models vanish with the point of a finger. Gravity is optional. The models move through the film set in a quest to unplug the amplification and return the shoot to  “normal.”

Interactivity adds the meta-surreal kick: the video’s viewers can toggle between five color options using a thin color selector bar on the video, to watch the same scenes play out in a different color. Once again, the models are subject to forces out of their control…this time, not because of the magic amplifier, but because the viewer has the power to change the model’s clothes and accessories at will. Like many other interactive videos, the final decisions about the video’s palette and story line are left for the viewer to decide, rather than the director.

But ASOS succeeds where other interactive videos haven’t. Unlike Honda’s interactive video, in which instructions on how to “interact” with the video appear on the screen, ASOS has found a more elegant way to introduce the viewer to their new interactive powers.

Instructions appear on Honda’s video for how to interact with the video


mouse pointer
ASOS runs through all the interactivity options


The ASOS video subtly “introduces” the video’s interactivity to the viewer in the first seconds of the video, as an old school mouse pointer clicks through all the color options, providing a quick overview of each shoot’s beginning. In a field where interactive video often needs to explicitly explain its interactivity – ASOS goes farther than most videos by integrating interactivity into the video from both a conceptual and a user-experience perspective.