Product placement is a $23 billion industry buoyed by our resistance to watching ads. Studies have shown that product placement leads to increased brand visibility and to consumers developing more favorable attitudes than they would have without the exposure.
Virtual product placement has been around for a decade or so, but now it’s at the point where it’s seamless.
“It's really amazing how they can put these products in the movies in a way that you don't even notice,” said Chris Ward, senior vice president of Midwest ad sales at Hallmark Channel. “If you're in a cooking scene, and they're making soup, for example, all of a sudden there's Campbell's Soup cans on the countertop."
Hallmark works with Mirriad, an in-content advertising platform powered by AI. As Mirriad CEO Stephan Beringer explained, “We're using a technology that really is able to virtually render objects or whatever into the content.”
Beringer said there are myriad ways that such placements can occur. “It can be a car. It can be a billboard. It can be a television screen.”
Ward said that the virtual feature opens up new opportunities for product placement. “If you're in a scene where they're driving down the road, they can create a billboard and put a logo on it. If you're in a restaurant or a bar, they can digitally implant the ad onto the TV that's over the bar.”
Ward said that virtual product placement is a welcome addition. “It's nice to have this new revenue stream.”
Beringer said this technology opens up new avenues of creativity. For instance, if a new movie takes place in the 1960s, one idea is to create a design that looks like it was from the era. “I think that would be super-cool,” he said.
And a movie that takes place 20 or 30 years ago could feature a prediction that comes true in the future.
“Let's just say the car brand is GM or whoever, and a character says in the future we'll be all going in electric cars. You’ll watch the movie and say they were visionary back then,” said Beringer. “I think there's great opportunity to do stuff, but you have to handle it in a creative manner.”
I know that when I have been to the cinema to see a movie, or watch it on the TV or stream it, I usually come out of it forgetting the plot, the actors, the soundtrack, the cinematography ... but I always recall the cooking in the kitchen.
John well said. The article doesn't mention the inventor of VPP, Ryff, which uses scene intelligence to address that point. Nor does it mention that Mirriad is for sale. More than that it does not mention that Hallmarks most recent projects were delivered by Ryff.