The Disappearing Ad: St-Germain Launching Racy Short Films On Periscope That Vanish After 24 Hours

Now you see it, now you don’t: the liquor brand’s Peep Show film series points to creative new uses of the Periscope platform for brands.

Starting today, St-Germain will begin live-streaming, via Periscope, a series of short films called Peep Show starring Hannah Simone, the actress from New Girl. The six-part series can be seen by following the handle @StGermainDrinks at 1 p.m. Eastern. As with all videos on Periscope, it will remain on the platform for 24 hours before disappearing.


St-Germain invited Floria Sigismondi to create these films. Her previous work includes directing The Runaways and also directing music videos for a wide range of artists including Justin Timberlake, David Bowie, and the White Stripes. Sigismondi will shoot on an iPhone, and the videos will will appear live in viewer’s feeds. Digital marketing agency Possible helped to imagine and execute this concept for St-Germain.

Peep Show plays on Periscope’s ability to live-stream moments in real time and offers a racy two-minute glimpse into the world of a character played by Simone. “The films are inspired by sensual postcards of Parisian women from the 1920s and 30s,” Sigismondi tells Fast Company. “Our peep-show woman is the modern interpretation of that vibe. In this world, the woman is in control: she is fully in charge of what she allows us to see.”

Hannah SimonePhoto: via therealhannahsimone

Through the app, viewers will have the opportunity to respond to what they are watching. “There will be live feedback from the audience, which we will try to incorporate into Hannah’s reactions and movements so there is an element of interaction with the viewer,” Sigismondi says. “This will be what makes the project special.”

Over the last few months, brands have developed interesting ways to use Periscope. In April, for instance, Target used Periscope to allow shoppers to learn about its collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer and repeated this approach with its latest collaboration with Eddie Borgo. In April, Taco Bell hosted a mock press conference on Periscope to promote “Breakfast Defector Day.” Since May, Adobe has been broadcasting daily Periscopes to draw attention to upcoming features.

St-Germain was drawn to Periscope because it saw the platform as a way to deepen its relationship with its core audience. “St-Germain identifies Periscope to be one of the next frontiers in social engagement,” Michelle Beauchamp, vice president of Bacardi, St-Germain, tells Fast Company. “One of the main goals of this project is to create unique two-way conversations with our core audience. Not only will Peep Show viewers be able to watch the live action on July 9, but they will also have the opportunity to help create the story by live tweeting suggestions on the next scene. St-Germain recognizes the important role that social platforms, like Periscope, play on engaging with the brand’s core fanbase.”

It is unclear exactly how large the current Periscope user base is. A Twitter representative I spoke with declined to provide statistics. According to data collected by Keyhole and Topsy in April, only around 20,000 broadcasters were live-streaming videos. This is still a drop in the bucket compared to the 70 million pictures posted on Instagram a day or Facebook’s 745 million daily active users on mobile.


The average Periscope user has been live-streaming events, like kite festivals and concerts, as well as everyday experiences, like sunrises and walks in the woods. This short-film series points to other creative uses of the platform and is what attracted Sigismondi to this project. “It’s experimental and uncharted territory,” she says. “It’s a new niche of filmmaking that can change the way people experience film and video.”


About the author

Elizabeth Segran, Ph.D., is a staff writer at Fast Company. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.